I spent the last 20 minutes reading Masters coverage in which sportswriters talk about how wonderful it is that Player X is leading Player Y because we know a lot about Player Y’s sex life and disapprove of it. Thank God for day baseball.
Best game of the early going today: Reds-Cardinals. It was a pitcher’s duel, with Bronson Arroyo and Brad Penny looking sharp. The former have up one run over eight innings, the latter one run over seven. I am obligated to report that Bronson Arroyo “helped his own cause” by knocking in an RBI single, which means that this pitcher has been just as productive as the second richest team in baseball’s designated hitter this season.
The kicker, though was Jonny Gomes hitting a homer to left in the bottom of the ninth off Jason Motte to end it. Jason Motte, by the way, throws really hard. Unfortunately he throws really straight and thus gives up a lot of home runs. He threw six straight hard ones to Gomes. Gomes is a dead-red hitter. Maybe not the best matchup in the history of La Russaville.
Silver lining for Cardinals fans? Brad Penny. While the line score was nice, even nicer was the fact that he got 13 ground ball outs and only four fly ball outs. If that pattern holds, he’s going to have a nice season.
Rian Watt of Baseball Prospectus is hearing that a trade that would send Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs involves prospect Gleyber Torres and more going to the Yankees. He adds that the holdup in the trade talks is centered around a contract extension for Chapman, believed to be around four years in length and $60 million total. The deal may not be finalized if the Cubs don’t get him signed to an extension they like. In Watt’s words, “Package is set. Extension is not.”
We learned earlier on Sunday that the Yankees were working hard to trade Chapman, reportedly in contact with at least four teams. The Cubs were not believed to be the front runners but certainly upped the ante by offering Torres.
Torres, 19, is rated the Cubs’ #1 prospect and #24 overall in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The shortstop has spent the season with Single-A Myrtle Beach, batting .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs, 47 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 409 plate appearances.
Torres is currently roadblocked at shortstop by Addison Russell, and 21-year-old Ian Happ is rated #3 in the Cubs’ system, so the club would be dealing from surplus.
Prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mariners, the Blue Jays designated reliever Drew Storen for assignment and recalled reliever Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo.
Storen, 28, had a nightmare of a time with the Jays, leaving with a 6.21 ERA and a 32/10 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him in January from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Storen is owed the remainder of his $8.375 million salary, which makes it likelier that the right-hander will pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the season.