The Post’s Adam Kilgore reports that the talk of his allegedly bad attitude and his high asking price has apparently done nothing to dissuade the Nats from drafting Bryce Harper first in next months’ draft. In fact, it sounds like Washington is hotter for Harper than they ever have been:
Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo went out to Vegas to see him play in two doubleheaders and all Harper did was gor 6 for 12 with two doubles and four walks. Nats’ director of amateur scouting Kris Kline called Harper, “a huge
priority for us.” As for those attitude problems, Kline says “I think he’s got great makeup . . . I have absolutely no
problems with the kid’s makeup. He’s a great kid.” Kline went on to call him “a class act.”
This all sounds like a team that is transitioning from scouting Harper to selling him as the next new face of the Washington Nationals.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.