* The latest reason why he’s one of my favorite managers: Jim Leyland apologized
and admitted that he “was totally out of line” after being ejected from
yesterday’s game for arguing balls and strikes with an imploding
Dontrelle Willis on the mound.
* As expected, the Mets have confirmed
that J.J. Putz will miss 8-10 weeks following surgery to remove bone
spurs from his elbow. Rookie Bobby Parnell will continue to serve as
Francisco Rodriguez’s primary setup man.
* Geovany Soto is hitting just .209 with one homer in 42 games, so Lou Piniella has decided to give the reigning Rookie of the Year “a nice little mental break” while starting Koyie Hill behind the plate.
* Bill Hall has hit .221/.289/.385 in 175 games since the beginning of last season and it sounds like
the Brewers are finally running out of patience. Unfortunately for
them, he’s making $6.8 million this season with another $8.4 million
coming next year.
* Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com penned an interesting, even-handed article about college pitchers racking up huge workloads.
* Justin Morneau takes a crack at blogging, with mixed results.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.