– The latest evidence that Trey Hillman is a joke as a major league
manager: Kyle Farnsworth, who had allowed one run in eight weeks,
wasn’t the reliever of choice with the Royals down 6-2 tonight. Nor was
he the reliever of choice with the team down 7-2. No, Hillman waited
until it was 11-2 and then brought in Farnsworth to get some work. It
was his first appearance in six days.
– Chris Young is still hitting below .200 for Arizona, but he walked
three more times tonight, bringing his total of the month to 11 in 54
at-bats. He had eight in 163 at-bats between April and May. He also has
three homers and six steals in June, so I hope no one dropped him in
– Matt Wieters’ first big-league homer
didn’t look like much off the bat, but it was still nice to see him go
the other way for a change. He had been taking most everything to right
field while hitting left-handed.
– B.J. Ryan sure didn’t help his chances of seeing save
opportunities by allowing three of the four batters he faced to reach
in the ninth against the Phillies. Rather than risk the six-run lead,
the Jays opted to replace him with Brandon League, who stranded all
three runners to finish out the 7-1 game. Jason Frasor is probably
going to be the man in Toronto with Scott Downs out.
– Would it really embarrass any Reds regulars if Micah Owings hit,
say, fifth in his starts? They obviously know just how good he is, and
it’s hardly such a disadvantage to be using pinch-hitters in the middle
of the order after Owings departs. Owings, of course, hit his seventh
career homer in his second and final plate appearance tonight. He
delivered a sac bunt in the first one. I’m holding out hope that he was
actually bunting for a hit, but MLB.tv is being a real pain tonight.
Anyone see it?
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.