– Tommy Hanson didn’t allow a hit over the first 3 1/3 innings
of his major league debut against the Brewers on Sunday afternoon, but
he gave up seven runs — six of them earned — including three home
runs — two of them by Ryan Braun — after that. The strapping
right-hander fanned five and walked one over six innings and thanks to
a three-run eighth inning by the Braves, he was taken off the hook.
– Roy Halladay became the first pitcher in baseball to reach 10 wins
against the Royals on Sunday. He struck out six in a complete game
shutout and now has a 2.52 ERA to go along with a stingy 1.02 WHIP.
– In an excellent piece
by Tim Kurkjian for ESPN.com, we learn that Princeton graduate Ross
Ohlendorf wrote his thesis on the top 100 picks from the 1989 to 1993
Amateur drafts to determine the value of the picks. He found that on
average, the player brought twice the return.
– Mariano Rivera would have preferred to pitch to Evan Longoria
instead of intentionally walking him on Saturday, but he got him to
ground out to secure his 13th save in a 4-3 comeback win over the Rays on Sunday. The Yankees plated three in the eighth inning to push ahead.
– Livan Hernandez hurled seven scoreless innings
in a 7-0 win over the Nationals on Sunday afternoon. With the win, he
moved to 5-1 with a surprising 3.88 ERA through 11 starts this season.
– Clete Thomas connected for an eighth-inning go-ahead grand slam — the first of his career– in a 9-6 win over the Angels on Sunday.
– According to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, the Indians have yet to decide
if they will be buyers or sellers mode as the trade deadline
approaches. The Indians currently find themselves seven games behind
the first-place Tigers.
– And finally, D.C. Fire Chief Dennis Rubin put the kibosh on fireworks at Nationals Park.
Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Blue Jays and right-hander Jesse Chavez had an arbitration hearing on Friday, with a decision expected today.
Chavez, who was acquired from the Athletics this offseason, requested $4 million and was offered $3.6 million by the Blue Jays when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. Toronto is known as a “file-and-trial” team, so they bring these cases to a hearing unless a multi-year deal can be reached. The three-person panel of arbitrators will choose one salary or the other.
Chavez, 32, posted a 4.18 ERA and 136/48 K/BB ratio in 157 innings across 26 starts and four relief appearances last season. He’s expected to compete for the fifth spot in Toronto’s rotation this spring.
After trading Ender Inciarte to the Braves as part of the Shelby Miller deal, Yasmany Tomas will go into 2016 as a regular in the Diamondbacks’ lineup. Signed to a six-year, $68.5 million contract in December of 2014, Tomas batted .273 with nine home runs and a .707 OPS over 426 plate appearances during his first season in the majors last year while struggling defensively between third base and right field. Third base is out as a possibility at this point, but the Diamondbacks are mulling over another defensive change for him.
According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said Friday that the club has discussed moving Tomas to left field and David Peralta to right.
“We’re definitely talking about it,” Hale said. “(Outfield coach) Dave McKay and I, (General Manager Dave Stewart) and (Chief Baseball Officer) Tony (La Russa), we think it might be best to switch them around.”
When the third base experiment flopped, the Diamondbacks put Tomas in right because they felt he would be the most comfortable there. The metrics weren’t kind to him. He’ll now have a full spring training to work on things if the club decides to make a change. Peralta isn’t the defender that Inciarte was, but he’s better than Tomas, so it’s understandable why the Diamondbacks would change their alignment.
Tomas is likely to be a liability no matter where he plays, but the Diamondbacks won’t mind as much if his bat begins to meet expectations. For a team with designs on the postseason, he’s a big key for this lineup.
The Associated Press is reporting that the Cubs and starter Jake Arrieta have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $10.7 million salary for the 2016 season. That marks the highest salary on a one-year deal for a pitcher with four years of service, the AP notes. Arrieta and the Cubs were set to go before an independent arbitrator but now can simply focus on the season ahead.
Arrieta, 29, is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He had filed for $13 million while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The $5.5 million gap was the largest among players who did not come to terms with their respective teams by the January deadline. The $10.7 million salary is $450,000 above the midpoint between the two submitted figures.
Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award for his performance this past season, narrowly edging out Zack Greinke, then with the Dodgers. Arrieta led the majors with 22 wins, four complete games, and three shutouts. With that, he compiled a 1.77 ERA and a 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings.
Once a top prospect in the Orioles’ minor league system, Arrieta struggled in the majors but found immediate success with the Cubs in 2013 after the O’s traded him along with Pedro Strop in exchange for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman.
Per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, the Giants have signed infielder Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal. Gillaspie was selected by the Giants in the supplemental round of the 2008 draft, then was traded to the White Sox in February 2013.
Gillaspie, 28, hit a meager .228/.269/.359 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 253 plate appearances between the White Sox and Angels during the 2015 season. Almost all of his playing time has come at third base but he can also play first base if needed.
The Giants, thin on depth, will allow Gillaspie to audition in spring training for a spot on the 25-man roster.