ESPN’s Buster Olney (and about a zillion other people today) note that the Jason Bay-to-the-Mets stuff is dragging on. Rather than come up with new and exciting Mets jokes, Buster gets constructive and makes eight suggestions for adding depth and improving the team without blowing a big chunk of money on Jason Bay. His ideas:
1. Sign Orlando Hudson;
2. Sign a cheap, defense-first outfielder like Randy Winn;
3. Sign Mark DeRosa
4. Get a reliever or two in the Bob Howry or Chan Ho Park mold;
5. Rotation filler like Jarrod Washburn;
6. Make an offer for Fernando Rodney;
7. Get a starter like Brett Meyers, Jon Garland or Vicente Padilla;
8. Make an offer to Joel Piniero.
Not sure if that’s really eight ideas given that two of them deal with getting a reliever and three of them deal with getting some back-of-the-rotation help, but at least someone’s thinking about how to make the Mets better. God knows Omar Minaya isn’t.
So whaddya all think? Kneejerk reaction: I like depth moves better than big splashes for a team like the Mets. I mean, if you’re going to blame every damn thing that happened in 2009 on injuries, why not improve the depth?
As for the specifics, I’m not sure how many of the pitchers Olney is serious about the Mets pursuing or if, alternatively, he’s just listing potential options, but New York could use someone who could pitch beyond Santana. I think DeRosa has become everyone’s go-to reference for depth and utility, but I think people are underselling the fact that he’s getting older, can’t play the middle of the infield much anymore and is asking for far more money than the spare-part DeRosa we all came to love a few years ago.
But those are merely my shallow nitpicks. Your thoughts?
The Astros have grabbed an early 2-0 lead against Yordano Ventura in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Royals in Kansas City.
Things could have been much worse, as the Astros loaded the bases against Ventura to begin the game after Jose Altuve singled and George Springer drew a walk before Carlos Correa singled to shallow right field. Colby Rasmus grounded out to second base to score the first run before Evan Gattis grounded out to shortstop to bring in the second run. Ventura finally escaped after striking out Luis Valbuena swinging.
Ventura threw 24 pitches in the first inning. The Royals will attempt to fight back against Collin McHugh in the bottom of the first.
Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was forced to exit Game 1 of the ALDS against the Rangers on Thursday after he took a knee to the head on a takeout slide at second base. The Blue Jays announced after the game that Donaldson passed concussion tests, but he’ll be reevaluated on Friday.
After the game, the Fox Sports 1 panel consisting of Kevin Burkhardt, Pete Rose, Frank Thomas, and Raul Ibanez discussed the high-profile injuries from Game 1. This led Rose to suggesting that Donaldson should have stayed in the game despite his head injury. Seriously.
Courtesy of Big League Stew, here’s the quote from Rose:
His comments created some awkwardness, but the other panelists gently tried to remind him that things have changed for the better and nobody takes any chances with a head injury. In fact, Donaldson wouldn’t be the first player to pass a concussion test one day before feeling symptoms later. It’s remarkable that nonsense like this could be said on a major sports broadcast in 2015, but here we are.
With their rented ace on the mound and the home crowd riled up, this was supposed to be the Blue Jays’ game. After all, they’re the one overwhelming favorite to win their LDS. Well, they were. After a 5-3 loss to the Rangers on Thursday, the Blue Jays face an uphill climb to advance in the best-of-five series.
It’s not over, obviously. For one thing, the Blue Jays get to face left-handers in at least two of the next three games, and the Jays destroy southpaws. The Jays will have the pitching advantages in Texas after Friday’s Game 2 showdown against Cole Hamels, and they’ll probably have a sharper David Price out there next time if the series goes five games.
How Toronto’s lineup shapes up in the coming days will hinge on the health of Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista. Donaldson passed his initial concussion tests after colliding with Rougned Odor‘s knee, but he’d be far from the first player to experience lasting effects after initially getting the all clear. Bautista, too, is expected to be ready to play Friday after leaving with a hamstring cramp. At this point, there’s no reason to suspect that the Jays are understating the extent of the problem.
If Donaldson is fine, the Jays will have a much better chance of taking down Hamels. Game 2 starter Marcus Stroman has looked outstanding since returning from his torn ACL, and he should be able to hold down the Rangers’ offense better than Price did. He might not even have to face Adrian Beltre, who left Thursday’s game with a back problem.
The Rangers have yet to announce the rest of their rotation, though it sounds like Martin Perez is the favorite to get the ball opposite Marco Estrada in Game 3. It would then be either Colby Lewis, Derek Holland or Yovani Gallardo on three days’ rest in Game 4 (with the Jays starting knuckleballer R.A. Dickey). Lewis seems the more likely choice because of Holland’s inconsistency and the Jays’ dominance of left-handers. Those would both be winnable games for Toronto.
So, what it comes down to is beating Hamels. If the Jays head to Texas tied 1-1, they’re still the favorites to advance to the ALCS. If it’s 2-0 Rangers, three in a row is going to be a lot to ask.