Nationals sticking with Matt Capps as closer

1 Comment

Just two weeks ago Matt Capps was a perfect 16-for-16 closing out games for the Nationals, but yesterday’s blown save was his fourth in six chances since then and his third in four games so far this month.
His overall numbers are still solid, as Capps is 18-for-22 in saves opportunities with a 3.62 ERA and 25/7 K/BB ratio in 27.1 innings, but he’s now allowed 14 runs in his last 10 outings and both Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen are waiting in the wings.
However, manager Jim Riggleman made it clear that Capps will remain the Nationals’ closer despite his struggles. According to Riggleman “he’s throwing the ball well” and “just has to make an adjustment with his sliders” because “he can’t just have his fastball going.”
We’ll see whether Riggleman changes his tune if Capps has another ugly outing or two, because unlike in past seasons the Nationals are near enough to contention that sticking with a struggling closer will get the manager some heat from fans and media members. Of course, with Bryce Harper hours from being drafted and Stephen Strasburg’s arrival a day away Capps can fly under the radar for a bit longer.

Angels sign Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Eric Young Jr. #4 of the Atlanta Braves slides safely into third base on a RBI triple in the fifth inning against the New York Mets during the Braves opening series at Turner Field on April 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Andrelton Simmons #19 scored on the triple.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.

The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.

Report: Blue Jays close to a deal with Jarrod Saltalamacchia

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 9: Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Detroit Tigers hits an RBI single in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 9, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
1 Comment

Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.

*

The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.

Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.

The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.