Scott Kazmir to remain in Angels' rotation despite early-season struggles

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kazmir staring.jpgAngels left-hander Scott Kazmir has been nothing short of disappointing through six starts this season, with a 2-3 record, 6.82 ERA and 1.78 WHIP.  On Wednesday, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided to reevaluate his spot in the starting rotation with an hour-long closed door meeting.

“We just wanted to get an understanding of where he felt he was, what
adjustments need to be made and whether he needed some time to make
those adjustments,” Scioscia said. “He doesn’t think so, and [pitching coach Mike Butcher]
doesn’t think so, so he will make his next start Monday in Texas.”

In other words, Kazmir needs to be better the next time he takes the mound, or the Angels will have to move in another direction.  The southpaw could be demoted to Triple-A to work on his craft or moved to the bullpen Carlos Zambrano-style.  Either way, something has to be done.  The Angels are just 15-20 this season and are quickly losing ground to the Rangers in the AL West standings.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.