Could Mets be interested in Royals' Guillen?

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jose-guillen-ap2.jpgAdam Rubin of the Daily News writes that the Royals have identified the Mets as a potential trading partner for Jose Guillen.
According to the report, the Royals aim to acquire an inexpensive
outfielder in return for Guillen and are impressed with Angel Pagan.




Limited to just 81 games in 2009 due
to various injuries to his right leg including with a ligament tear in
his knee and hamstring discomfort, the 33-year-old Guillen batted just
.242/.314/.367 with nine home runs and 40 RBI. Meanwhile, the
28-year-old Pagan batted .306/.350/.487 with six home runs, 11 triples,
22 doubles, 32 RBI, 14 stolen bases and 54 runs scored in 343 at-bats
in 2009.




According to Rubin, the Royals are
willing to kick in some of Guillen’s $12 million salary for 2009, but
the Mets have doubts whether he can be a full-time player anymore. And
with good reason. Guillen ranked as one of the worst defensive
outfielders in the majors last season,
according to UZR
(Ultimate Zone Rating) and he completely collapsed against left-handed
pitching, batting just .181/.245/.309 with four home runs and nine RBI
in 94 at-bats.




Forget that Guillen is often viewed
as a malcontent, having played with nine different teams in 13 seasons.
If he was productive, nobody would care. However, aside from his 2003
campaign, Guillen has been merely average or worse throughout his
career. His 5.1% career walk rate almost touches Francoeur territory.
And imagine if the Mets signed Bengie Molina and his 4.0% career walk
rate? Five through nine of that lineup would be scary, and not in a good
way.

Dealing the inexpensive Pagan for Guillen would be the very
definition of half-witted, so I don’t see much to this one. Mets fans should hope that he is pretty low
on the contingency plan if a contract for Matt Holliday or Jason Bay doesn’t pan out.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.