Rookie hurlers Cahill, Porcello having interesting seasons

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A’s rookie Trevor Cahill set a new team record for most home runs allowed at home by serving up his 20th bomb at the Oakland Coliseum last night. Cahill has allowed 20 homers in 100.2 innings at home, but just six homers in 57.2 innings on the road, which is odd given that Oakland’s ballpark typically suppresses power.
Cahill leads all rookies with 158.1 innings, but is just 8-12 with a 4.66 ERA and sub par 79/64 K/BB ratio as a 21-year-old. He’s also served up 26 total homers in 28 starts despite inducing the ninth-most ground balls in the league. One out of every seven fly balls hit against Cahill have gone over the fence, which is the third-worst rate in the AL ahead of only Josh Beckett and fellow rookie Rick Porcello.
And speaking of Porcello, he tossed seven strong innings yesterday for this 12th victory, becoming just the 13th pitcher in the last 50 years to win a dozen or more games as a 20-year-old. Dwight Gooden sits atop that list with an amazing, Cy Young-winning 1985 season that saw him go 24-5 with a 1.53 ERA, 268 strikeouts, .201 opponents’ batting average, 16 complete games, and eight shutouts. As a 20-year-old!
Porcello’s numbers obviously pale in comparison, but he’s been very solid with a 12-8 record and 4.18 ERA in 25 starts. He’s managed just 72 strikeouts in 135.2 innings, but has succeeded while pitching to contact because no pitcher in the league has induced as many ground balls. Porcello is at 56 percent grounders, and Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, and Ricky Romero are the only other guys above 50 percent.

Giants interested in John Lackey

John Lackey
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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Ben Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated on Sunday that there might be a connection between the Giants and veteran free agent right-hander John Lackey, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that San Francisco is indeed in pursuit.

Rosenthal says the Giants, “like most clubs seeking pitching, [are] examining [a] wide range of options” in this starter-heavy free agent market. Lackey would make a ton of sense for any contender on something like a two-year deal. His free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t be much of a deterrent.

The 37-year-old right-hander registered a career-best 2.77 ERA across 218 innings (33 starts) this past season for the National League Central-champion Cardinals and he was St. Louis’ most reliable starter during the playoffs.

It’s well known that he wants to remain in the National League.

Angels sign catcher Geovany Soto to one-year contract

Geovany Soto
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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As first reported by beat writer Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have signed free agent catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year major league contract.’s Alden Gonzalez says the deal is worth $2.8 million guaranteed.

Soto will offer some veteran presence at catcher for the Halos alongside 25-year-old Carlos Perez, who hit .250/.299/.346 as a rookie in 2015.

Soto slashed .219/.301/.406 with nine homers in 78 games this summer for the White Sox.

The 32-year-old backstop is a .246/.331/.434 career hitter at the major league level.

White Sox acquire right-hander Tommy Kahnle from Rockies

Tommy Kahnle
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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According to the official Twitter account of the Chicago White Sox, the club acquired right-hander Tommy Kahnle from the Rockies on Tuesday evening in exchange for minor league pitcher Yency Almonte.

Kahnle was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week in a flurry of moves made in preparation of next month’s Rule 5 Draft. The 26-year-old former fifth-round pick posted an ugly 4.86 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, and 39/28 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings this past season for Colorado and he wasn’t much better at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Almonte, 21, had a 3.41 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 110/38 K/BB ratio in 137 1/3 innings this past season between Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem.

It’s a straight one-for-one deal of two non-prospects, and the timing of it — in the evening, with Thanksgiving approaching — has our Craig Calcaterra wondering whether an executive was just trying to get out of some family responsibilities …

Mark McGwire to become the Padres bench coach

Los Angeles Dodgers batting coach Mark McGwire roams the field during practice for the National League baseball championship series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in St. Louis. The Dodgers are scheduled to play the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The other day Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres were in discussions with former Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire about their bench coach job. Today Jon Heyman reports that the deal is done and will soon be announced.

McGwire has been the hitting coach for Los Angeles for the past three seasons. When his contract was not renewed following the end of 2015 he was rumored to be up for the Diamondbacks’ hitting coach job. He likely view staying in Southern California to be a plus, as he makes his home in Irvine, which is around 90 miles from Petco Park. That’s a long commute, but Mac can afford the gas, I guess.