Suppan to finalize deal with Cardinals next week

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suppan brewers.jpgVeteran pitcher Jeff Suppan has been linked to the Cardinals since he was given his release by the Brewers last week.  On Saturday, according to the Associated Press, things finally came together when Suppan tossed a bullpen session in front of St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan.

He’s expected to finalize a contract with the Cardinals early next week and immediately take over a spot in the club’s starting rotation.  With Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny sidelined indefinitely, it does make some sense.

The Cardinals believe they have identified some flaws in Suppan’s delivery and will try to help him back to his 2006 form, when he was named the NLCS MVP on a World Series-winning squad.  Suppan, 35, went 44-26 with a 3.95 ERA between 2004-2006 in St. Louis.  He had a 7.84 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP in 31 innings when the Brewers cut him loose on June 7 of this season.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.