The Mets are probably making Fernando Nieve a starter

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fernando nieve headshot mets.jpgI was rather surprised to see Jerry Manuel call Fernando Nieve into last night’s game against the Phillies. The Mets had a nice lead, Nieve has been overworked this year and if there was ever a situation for a mopup guy, that was it.  Turns out, however, that there may have been a method to the madness: It was a side-session for Nieve, who will likely be called on to start Saturday night’s game against the Brewers.

That’s what Jerry Manuel said after last night’s game, anyway, calling Nieve “the leading candidate” to get the call, and saying that “he deserves a shot.”

Which may be a good thing for him.  Nieve is still way up near the top in games pitched this year, and moving him to the rotation could ease up his workload a bit. More pitches but less often, don’t you know.  As it is he has struggled lately, maybe because he’s tired.

Quite the reshuffling of the Mets rotation in this last week.  So far it’s worked wonderfully, with R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi dominating what is supposed to be the NL’s best offense the last two nights.  Milwaukee has a powerful offense too, and I’m curious to see how Nieve does.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.