Daily Dose: Short but sweet for Greinke

Leave a comment

Zack Greinke got some rare run support from the Royals’ lineup Thursday afternoon, picking up his 14th win to hopefully help Cy Young voters realize that he’s clearly the best pitcher in the league in spite of awful teammates. The bad news is that Greinke left after five shutout innings because his right elbow was swollen thanks to a Miguel Cabrera line drive.
Greinke actually pitched another 1.2 innings after Cabrera’s liner caused the Royals’ training staff and manager Trey Hillman to convene on the mound to test him with a whole bunch of warm-ups pitches. He retired five of six batters with two strikeouts to seemingly indicate that the injury isn’t significant, but that’s often tough to tell with all the adrenaline still flowing.
While the abbreviated outing gives Greinke an MLB-best 2.14 ERA in 210.1 innings, here are some other notes from around baseball …


* Gavin Floyd left Wednesday’s start after just two innings and will miss his next turn in the rotation because of a lingering hip injury, and manager Ozzie Guillen indicated that the White Sox may decide to shut him down for the year. “The main thing for us is to make sure we keep this guy healthy for the future,” Guillen said. “The way this guy has pitched for us the last two years he deserved and earned our consideration.”
Floyd got off to a poor start after going 17-8 last season, but his overall numbers are nearly identical to what he did in 2008. Last year he tossed 206 innings with a 3.84 ERA, 145/70 K/BB ratio, and 1.26 WHIP. This year he’s logged 193 innings with a 4.06 ERA, 163/59 K/BB ratio, and 1.23 WHIP. Slightly more strikeouts and slightly better control, but a much worse record at 11-11.
* Wade Davis followed up his excellent big-league debut with a rough outing against the Red Sox last week, giving up eight runs while recording eight outs. He bounced back in a huge way Thursday with a complete-game shutout of the Orioles, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out 10. He also threw 124 pitches, which is a high for any Rays starter this season, so keep an eye on his next outing.
AL Quick Hits: Victor Martinez (personal) rejoined the lineup Thursday by extending his hitting streak to 16 games, but Kevin Youkilis (back) remained sidelined … After all the hype has died down, Matt Wieters is having a big week and a very solid rookie season … Ichiro Suzuki ended Thursday’s game in the 14th inning with his MLB-high 205th hit … Justin Morneau’s season-ending back injury came in the midst of what is now his annual stretch-run slump … John Danks got a no-decision Thursday despite allowing only a solo homer over eight innings … Fresh off a complete-game shutout, Brett Tomko (arm) has been shut down for the season … Despite struggling recently, Jim Johnson will remain the Orioles’ closer … Brandon Morrow continued to struggle with his control Thursday, handing out six walks … First-round pick Aaron Crow and the Royals finally agreed to a $4.5 million deal Thursday … If you’re not already, you really ought to start following me on Twitter.
NL Quick Hits: Jose Valverde is available to close again after missing three games with a fever … J.A. Happ (oblique) will rejoin the rotation Friday, but the Phillies won’t have Chan Ho Park (hamstring) in the bullpen for 2-3 weeks … Milton Bradley exited Thursday’s game with knee soreness, so as usual he’s day-to-day … Cole Hamels took a perfect game into the sixth inning Thursday before settling for eight innings of one-run ball … Chris Coghlan had hits in all four of his at-bats Thursday and is now batting .381 since August 1 … Derek Lowe is expected to make his next start despite leaving Wednesday’s outing with a blister … Dan Uggla indicated Wednesday that he expects to be traded this offseason … Shane Victorino was 0-for-3 before leaving Thursday’s game with “gastrointestinal illness” … Johnny Cueto was scratched with the flu Thursday, so Matt Maloney stepped in and notched his first MLB win … Ryan Garko hasn’t started since September 6, as the Giants’ midseason moves have not helped … Bobby Parnell is finished as a starter after going 1-5 with a 7.93 ERA.

2016 Winter Meetings Preview

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 26: The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is seen along the Potomac River February 26, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The baseball world will descend on Washington D.C. — well, the Maryland suburbs of Washington, at the Gaylord Resort at National Harbor — this weekend for the 2016 Winter Meetings. There’s a lot of work to be done.

Twenty free agents from a class of 191 have signed thus far. Among the notable: Yoenis Cespedes, Edinson Volquez, Neil Walker, Josh Reddick, Bartolo Colon, and R.A. Dickey. That, of course, leaves a ton of notables left, including Edwin Encarnacion, Justin Turner, Joe Bautista, Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, Mark Trumbo, Mark Melancon, Rich Hill and a host of others. Here is our rundown of this offseason’s top free agents if you’re curious. As you have come to expect from us, we’ll have a writeup of everyone who signs, faster than almost anyone else will.

Despite the sheer number of available free agents, this is an historically thin free agent class in terms of talent. That means that, for a team to improve significantly, they may be better served by making a trade. We’ve seen a couple already, most notably the deals which sent Taijuan Walker to the Diamondbacks, Jaime Garcia to the Braves and Brian McCann to the Astros. Most experts believe there will be plenty more this winter, and the ball could really get rolling on that in the next week with guys like Andrew McCutchen, Chris Sale, Chris Archer, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Brandon Phillips on the block.

Another major activity of the Winter Meetings is the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee vote. Except, this year, there is no Veterans Committee, at least in name. It’s now the “Today’s Game” committee. Here are links to breakdowns of the candidacies of all ten men on the ballot the new committee will consider:

Harold Baines
Albert Belle
Will Clark
Orel Hershiser
Mark McGwire
George Steinbrenner
Davey Johnson
Lou Piniella
John Shuerholz
Bud Selig

Trade deals, free agent negotiations and Hall of Fame votes take place behind closed doors at the Gaylord Resort. One of the major public activities of the Winter Meetings is when all 30 of the managers meet and greet the press. This year’s new faces are Torey Lovullo with the Diamondbacks, Rick Renteria with the White Sox and Bud Black with the Rockies. Brian Snitker, now the permanent manager of the Braves, will get his first go-around at the managerial cattle call. I’ll be in the scrum for a lot of these guys — they do them two at a time so I can’t see everyone — and will let you know if they say anything fun.

Outside of the transactions and the Hall of Fame stuff, we have the more mundane Winter Meetings business. And a lot of it. Indeed, the vast majority of the people at the Meetings aren’t there for transactions. They’re there to network, seek jobs and discuss the business of baseball like any other industry convention. Ever year we hear about a rule change or a proposal for future rule changes at the Meetings, though this year’s brand new Collective Bargaining Agreement should overshadow that. We’ve already discussed the major points of that and, yesterday, I speculated that, as time goes on, the way this agreement was reached could lead to some serious strife going forward, particularly on the union side. Expect to hear some anonymous rumblings about all of that in the next few days, from players, agents and other interested parties who may not be all that pleased with how it goes.

The final event of the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at 8am on Thursday morning. You likely have no idea who most of the players who will be selected are, but here’s a good place to start your research on that. If your team takes someone in the draft, the most important thing to know is that he’ll either be on the big league roster all year or he’ll have to be returned to his original team. Well, they could be stashed on the disabled list with phantom injuries so they won’t have to be returned, but no team would ever do that, would they? Perish the thought.

So, yes, there’s a lot to be done. I’ll be on the scene at National Harbor, bringing you all the best hot stove business we have to offer and, as usual, some more fun odds and ends from baseball’s biggest offseason event. As they used to say in radio, tune in to us and rip off the dial. Or, at the very least, keep a tab open to us and refresh a lot.

The Padres non-tendered RHP Tyson Ross

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04:  Tyson Ross #38 of the San Diego Padres walks off the field as he's taken out of the game in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day at PETCO Park on April 4, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Per a report by MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell, the Padres non-tendered right-handed starter Tyson Ross on Friday, cutting loose their top ace after three seasons with the club.

Ross, 29, was sidelined for the bulk of the season with inflammation in his right shoulder and underwent thoracic outlet surgery in October. His injuries limited him to only 5 1/3 innings in 2016, during which he gave up seven runs and struck out five in a 15-0 blowout against the Dodgers.

Prior to his lengthy stint on the disabled list, the right-hander earned 9.5 fWAR and pitched to a 3.07 ERA and 9.2 K/9 rate in three full seasons with the Padres. He avoided arbitration with a one-year, $9.625 million deal prior to the 2016 season after leading the league with 33 starts and delivering a 3.26 ERA and career-best 4.4 WARP over 196 innings in 2015.

The Padres appear open to bringing Ross back to San Diego, reported Cassavell, albeit not at such a steep cost. Cassavell quoted Padres’ GM A.J. Preller, who was reportedly in trade talks involving Ross but unable to strike a deal, likely due to the right-hander’s recent health issues. Preller denied that those same health issues factored into the club’s decision to non-tender their ace.

With the move, Ross became one of 35 major leaguers to enter free agency on Friday.