“Jarrod Washburn is the epitome of a bad free-agent target.”
Aaron Gleeman, December 2, 2009
You may wonder why Aaron has been a bit quiet this week. I’m no good at keeping secrets, so I may as well just come out with it: Aaron is currently undergoing intense psychiatric counseling following multiple suicide attempts brought on by the Twins doing things like making offers to Jarrod Washburn instead of getting in on Adrian Beltre or a serviceable second baseman who may actually help them win the Central in 2010. But hey, if you have the opportunity to pay $7 million or so to a guy like Washburn, you simply can’t pass up that deal.
As Aaron noted last month, Washburn went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in eight starts following the trade to the Tigers,
allowing 35 runs in 43 innings before missing the final three weeks
with a knee injury that required offseason surgery. He’s a smoke and mirrors pitcher who benefited from a big ballpark and an outrageously good set of outfielders in Seattle the first part of last year. Without those things, he was utterly exposed.
The Tigers trading for him last year did not help them win the division. The Twins signing him this year, however, may allow Detroit to do just that.
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.
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.