Indians to name Acta as next manager

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Jon Heyman of SI.com reports the Indians will name Manny Acta as their next manager.



According to the
Associated Press, team spokesman Bart Swain said Acta has signed a three-year contract with a club option for 2013. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Acta was fired by the Nationals in July after going 26-61. He was 158-252 during his tenure in Washington. Acta reportedly turned down an offer for the Astros’ managerial vacancy. The Indians chose Acta over Bobby Valentine and Indians Triple-A manager Torey Lovullo, who were also under consideration the position. He inherits a team that went a disappointing 65-97 under Eric Wedge in 2009.

Hopefully Acta will eventually get a fair shake to manage a quality ballclub in Cleveland, as it was hard to get a feel of his skills with such an awful team in Washington. As for Astros fans, it’s beginning to like Phil Garner could be back.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.