– The Yankees will go for a seventh straight win against a pitcher they
tried to acquire in the second half of last year, Jarrod Washburn. They
beat the Mariners 8-5 on Tuesday to improve to 22-14 at new Yankee
Stadium. Washburn, who had an impressive 2.82 ERA in six starts against
the Bombers at the old yard, will be pitching at the new park for the
first time. Andy Pettitte will start for the Yankees. The Mariners are
one of two AL teams he’s under .500 against in his career (9-11, 4.68
ERA). Cleveland is the other.
– Cole Hamels and Jair Jurrjens will try to snap winless skids
tonight with the Phillies in Atlanta. Neither picked up a victory
during interleague play. Hamels, who last won on June 4, was removed
after just 4 2/3 innings last time out in a loss to Toronto. Jurrjens
has lost four in a row since his last victory on May 29.
Game of the Night
San Francisco vs. St. Louis – Matt Cain had two chances to become
the NL’s first 10-game winner, but he was undone in part by poor run
support, giving Jason Marquis a chance to beat him there. He’ll settle
for being the second to reach the mark if he can win in St. Louis
tonight. The Cardinals, who are trying to avoid dropping three straight
to begin a four-game series, will counter with their eight-game winner,
Adam Wainwright. St. Louis lost night despite getting a pair of homers
from Albert Pujols. Pujols is 4-for-8 with a homer and a double against
Cain in his career.
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.