Rick Peterson joins Brewers as pitching coach

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Injuries, poor performances, and free-agent losses led to Milwaukee’s rotation ranking dead last in baseball with a 5.37 ERA this season, and the Brewers have hired former A’s and Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson to fix things.
Peterson built up a very strong reputation while working with “The Big Three” of Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, and Mark Mulder in Oakland from 1998-2003, but struggled after taking the same job with New York, reportedly played a big part in the disastrous Scott Kazmir-for-Victor Zambrano trade, and was fired in mid-2008.
Peterson worked under Ken Macha in Oakland and Willie Randolph in New York, and that pair is now the manager-bench coach combo in Milwaukee. They obviously thought highly of his work and Peterson explained that “our philosophies are aligned” after making his two-year contract official at a press conference this afternoon.
There’s clearly a lot of work to do with a pitching staff that allowed the second-most runs in the league, but Peterson at least begins his tenure with a dependable veteran closer in Trevor Hoffman and a young top-of-the-rotation starter in Yovani Gallardo. His biggest test may be trying to turn Manny Parra’s career around, assuming of course that the Brewers don’t trade the 26-year-old left-hander.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.