Joba Chamberlain made his first relief appearance since being named a member of the Yankees’ bullpen — and not their starting rotation — during Saturday’s spring game against the Tigers. He threw a scoreless inning, allowing two hits but also racking up a strikeout. The 24-year-old had a 14.09 ERA and a 2.48 WHIP over his first 7 2/3 innings of Grapefruit League play and officially lost the Yanks’ final rotation spot to Phil Hughes this week. Chamberlain had a 2.84 ERA and a 7/1 K/BB ratio in 6 1/3 innings out of the bullpen during last year’s playoffs and should do well in a setup role this season.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.