Kris Benson hasn’t pitched much recently — eight appearances last year, none in 2008 or 2007 — but his agent says he’s healthy, throwing well and expects to sign with someone in the next couple of weeks. Candidates: Diamondbacks, Cubs, Reds and Nationals.
Benson is 35 now, and has long lost the luster of being the number one overall pick way back in 1996. At his peak he was an almost exactly league average pitcher, though his strikeout rate went way the hell down in his last two full years.
To think he’d have anything left in the tank right now seems like an exercise in wishful thinking, a greater affinity for familiar names than useful ones, or both. He may get signed soon, but if he breaks camp as a member of a Major League staff I’ll eat my hat.
Major League Baseball announced that the starting time of Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Indians at Progressive Field on Wednesday night has been moved up to 7:08 PM EDT due to a forecast that calls for heavy rain late in the night, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports.
Jake Arrieta will start for the Cubs against the Indians’ Trevor Bauer, assuming his finger injury doesn’t prevent him from doing so.
While an 8 PM start puts the game in a better TV slot, most of the playoff games have been ending around midnight or later. That makes it difficult for kids on the East coast to watch and enjoy the entirety of the games. As we know, baseball has a looming problem in that its viewing audience is getting steadily older. Having playoff games start at 7 PM consistently — or even 6 PM, for that matter — might be good for the future of the game.
The last time the Cubs were in the World Series was 1945, two years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. As such, until Tuesday night, the Cubs never had a black player play for them in the World Series.
Dexter Fowler changed that, leading off the ballgame at Progressive Field against the Indians. Fowler was made aware of this fact three days ago by Rany Jazayerli of The Ringer:
Fowler, in that at-bat, went ahead in the count 2-1 but ended up striking out looking on a Corey Kluber sinker.