Rockies bringing Chris Iannetta back to majors

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Last month the Rockies demoted Chris Iannetta to Triple-A after he struggled in 30 at-bats, which seemed very odd given that he’s a 27-year-old three-time Opening Day starter with over 1,100 plate appearances in the majors.
Iannetta took the demotion in stride, hitting .349 with five homers and a 1.146 OPS in 17 games at Triple-A, and now the Rockies are calling him back up. Whether or not he’ll actually play is another issue, because Miguel Olivo hasn’t slowed down a ton since the Rockies chose him as their starter and the team has clearly soured on Iannetta at least somewhat despite giving him an $8.5 million contract extension just months ago.
Iannetta is 27 years old, signed cheaply through 2012, and boasts a .799 career OPS that ranks seventh among all catchers since 2006 behind only Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada, Brian McCann, Mike Napoli, Victor Martinez, Geovany Soto. Obviously some of that is due to playing half his games at Coors Field, but plenty of teams would be smart to see if the Rockies are willing to let him go at a discount.
Last week Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported that the Red Sox were keeping an eye on Iannetta as a possible long-term replacement for impending free agents Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek.

Dominic Smith likely to start the season at Triple-A

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Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.

Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.

Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.