Juan Rincon, MLB.com, and telling me it's raining

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With the struggling newspaper industry providing less and less unique
baseball coverage, MLB.com has done a great job beefing up its content
this season. However, every few days an article pops up as a reminder
that the reporting and analysis being done under the MLB.com roof isn’t
always the world’s most objective.

Juan Rincon is a 30-year-old reliever who’s been released by three
teams in the past 13 months and has a 5.41 ERA in 126 innings since the
beginning of 2007, yet based on the MLB.com article about his joining the Rockies’ bullpen you’d think that he … well, didn’t stink. Seriously, read some of this stuff:

While the makeup of the Rockies bullpen has continued to change
since early this year, the addition of righty Juan Rincon is expected
to make an impact. … Reliever Matt Daley has seen first hand the
presence Rincon can have on a team after a stint in Triple-A Colorado
Springs in late May to rehab his sprained left foot. “He brings a lot
of experience and knows exactly what he wants to do and how to get
hitters out,” said Daley.

Rincon’s experience in the American League could not come at a
better time for the Rockies, who are in the midst of a three-game
series with the Angels, then head to Oakland to play a three-game set.
“The experience that he brings, especially in Interleague series,
playing with the Twins for all those years brings a lot of information
that can be relayed back to us,” said Daley.

The words “experience” and “veteran” are used five times in a 300-word
article, writer Quinn Roberts suggests that Rincon “is expected to make
an impact,” and for some reason Matt Daley is willing to talk about the
washed-up reliever as if he were Mariano Rivera. My favorite Daleyism
is the notion that Rincon “knows exactly what he wants to do and how to
get hitters out.” Can you imagine how high his ERA would be without that knowledge?

It’s probably unrealistic and maybe even a little delusional to expect
a whole lot of objectivity and critical thinking from reporters who’re
being paid by MLB to write articles for a team’s official website, but
as a wise man once said: Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

Johnny Cueto expected to opt-out of his deal after the season

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Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.

Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.

Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.

The Dodgers are concerned about Julio Urias’ shoulder

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Things are going great for the Dodgers lately. They’ve won seven consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. They lead the National League in wins and are in first place in, arguably, the best division in baseball.

But there are a lot of moving parts on a baseball team, and even when some things are going great, other things can go not-so-great. Like this:

Urias has been diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and shut down indefinitely. An MRI last week showed no structural damage, but his shoulder is still bothering him. He has not pitched in the bigs since late May, when he allowed seven runs in less than three innings against the Miami Marlins. He was sent down after that and went 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA, six walks and 17 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched in three starts with Oklahoma City before being shelved.