Pirates turning down offers for Ian Snell

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Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette passes along an interesting trade tidbit:

The Texas Rangers have inquired with the Pirates about trading for
starter Ian Snell, but the Pirates have engaged no team seriously in
such talks, largely because other teams value Snell as a reliever, and
the Pirates will want a starter’s worth in return.

Snell is 1-7 with a 5.25 ERA after going 7-12 with a 5.42 ERA last
season, giving him a 4.78 ERA in 114 career starts, so the Pirates
probably shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for another team to give
them “a starter’s worth in return.” With that said, his track record
suggests that Snell could be a pretty effective reliever.

Focusing on his fastball-slider combo while ditching his changeup
would help Snell given the lack of success that he’s had with his third
pitch over the years and his shaky command would play better out of the
bullpen. Beyond that, he’s allowed a .745 OPS against righties compared
to an .880 OPS against lefties during his career.

If the Pirates don’t want to trade the 27-year-old right-hander,
maybe they should at least listen to what the other teams are saying
about Snell’s ideal role.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.