Rockies demoting Opening Day catcher Chris Iannetta to Triple-A

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To make room on the roster for all their pitcher shuffling the Rockies are reportedly demoting Opening Day catcher Chris Iannetta to Triple-A.
Iannetta is off to a 4-for-30 (.133) start, but it sure seems odd to demote a 27-year-old veteran of 293 career games to Triple-A based on 30 bad at-bats after handing him an $8.3 million contract this offseason and starting him on Opening Day. The notion that Iannetta has anything left to learn or prove in the minors is fairly absurd.
Iannetta has gone through big slumps before, but has posted an OPS above .800 in back-to-back seasons as the Rockies’ primary catcher and has a career mark of .799 in 1,118 plate appearances. By comparison Miguel Olivo has a career OPS of .707 and has topped .730 just once in nine seasons, but has leap-frogged Iannetta on the depth chart based on a dozen strong games.
Some very short-sighted thinking by the Rockies, because if Iannetta warranted an $8.3 million deal this offseason and a start on Opening Day he certainly deserves more than eight games to get on track before sending him back to the minors at age 27. Since his debut in 2006 only six catchers have a higher OPS than Iannetta: Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada, Brian McCann, Mike Napoli, Victor Martinez, Geovany Soto.

Watch: Mike Trout ties MLB record with his 25th home run

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It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:

In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.

Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.

Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.

Blue Jays acquire Tom Koehler from Marlins

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The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.

The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.

Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.