There were a lot of strikeouts in last night’s Twins-Tigers game, many of which were called third strikes. This is not necessarily surprising given that Fransico Liriano and Justin Verlander were pitching, but it’s also likely that the ump was being a bit generous with the zone too. It happens.
Not that Denard Span was all that understanding about it. After taking a called strike three in the eighth inning — which looked like a ball on TV but could have maybe caught a corner — Span, waved off home plate ump Paul Emmel, who promptly ejected him, more likely for what Span said than for the wave, because it was a really quick hook. Once he did, Span tossed his bat towards the backstop. Here’s the video of the whole thing. Span’s teammate Delmon Young thinks he’s an amateur.
Span apologized to Emmel, was reportedly mortified by his conduct and offered some seriously heartfelt “I’m sorry if kids were watching” words of contrition after the game, so my guess is that he won’t be disciplined for his little bat toss.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.