On Friday, Aaron Gleeman touched on
Tom Glavine’s first public appearance since the 305-game winner was
released by the Braves this week. There was a lot to digest from his
comments, but clearly the 43-year-old future Hall of Famer feels misled
and betrayed by his former club.
“I didn’t realize I was auditioning.
That was it. There was no ‘If you do this, or your velocity is this …
We’ll be evaluating you every step of the way. You’re trying out for
the team.’ None of that. It was ‘If everything goes well and you’re
healthy, you’ll pitch June 7’…. I was taking people at their word, and
at the end of that day that really didn’t seem to mean a whole lot.”
Even though Glavine had thrown 11 consecutive scoreless innings over
his last two rehab starts, the team made a “performance-decision” and
released the veteran, opting instead for young phenom Tommy Hanson. The
22-year-old right-hander has dominated the minors this season with a
sick 1.49 ERA along with 90 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings with Triple-A
Gwinnett. He is primed to make his long-awaited major league debut on
Sunday against the Brewers.
I don’t think many people would question the Braves for taking
Hanson — or even Kris Medlen — over Glavine. After all, Hanson was
already on a rapid rise in the organization, coming off a historic
performance in the Arizona Fall League, becoming the first pitcher to
win the league’s MVP award. And through 11 starts this season, he has
shown that he simply has nothing left to prove down there.
However, the way the situation was handled by general manager Frank
Wren is just plain slimy. It reeks of penny-pinching and disrespect for
a pitcher that won the 1995 World Series MVP with the franchise. I
never understood why the Braves brought him back at all, but Wren
deserves all the criticism he’s getting right now.
Vote in our poll and let us know if you think the Braves were unfair to Glavine.
In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.
Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.
The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.
MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.
Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.
“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”
Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.
MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.
It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.
The Reds announced on Twitter that the club has hired former manager Lou Pinella in a consultant capacity as a senior advisor to baseball operations. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer adds that Pinella will also spend time with the team at spring training.
Pinella, 72, was last seen with the Giants in 2011, also in a consultant capacity, but he spent only the one season there. He has 23 seasons of experience as a manager, with his most recent four coming with the Cubs between 2007-10.