It doesn’t mean that it’s crazy, because this is baseball. The ball’s
not bouncing the right way. Last year, it bounced the right way every
– With Brad Lidge’s latest implosion against the Braves on Saturday,
he became the fifth player since 1954 to have a loss, blown save and
two errors in one game. Wow. By the way, if you are into crazy
statistics like this, follow STATS LLC on Twitter.
“I sent him a
letter over there to tell him best wishes, get well soon and I hope to
see him back out there. I just wanted to go up there and see for myself
if he was doing OK or if I could hear anything about him talking or
just to show that I care about people. You don’t want to see that
happen to anyone. It was just unfortunate.”
– Rusty Ryal after a line drive off his bat hit Hiroki Kuroda in the head on Saturday night. Fortunately, Kuroda never lost consciousness and a CT scan came back negative.
“With 48 hours to go, I simply have no idea whether we’re going to be able to reach a deal.”
– Nationals president Stan Kasten as the clock continues to tick with No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg.
“I have two things, try and get hitters out and make a good throw. The
rest is out of my hands. That’s some of the best throws I can make.
They might not be good enough.”
– Jason Varitek, after the Rangers ran roughshod over him for eight stolen bases on Saturday night.
The Red Sox have allowed 118 steals this season by far the most in the
majors — the White Sox are second with 101 allowed. David Pinto of Baseball Musings has a pretty good argument why this might not matter.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.