Yesterday I inferred that the Dodgers had made inquiries about Roy Oswalt. That was confimed by the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin last night. And Shaikin goes one better: The Dodgers asked about Cliff Lee’s availability as well. The Mariners, like the Astros, rejected Colletti’s overtures.
Either move makes sense for the Dodgers, who really could use a pitcher. It’s just too early, methinks, for this kind of deal to happen, because the Astros and Mariners would be silly not to wait a while and see who finds themselves in more dire need of pitching between now and July.
Someone is going to get hurt. Some team is going to go on a skid that makes them panicky. When that happens, Lee and Oswalt will bring higher prices than Ned Colletti is willing to offer right now.
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.