The Mets sign Ramon Ortiz

2 Comments

The Mets have spent the last few weeks bending over backwards to get rid of their dead wood arms in Oliver Perez and John Maine, so it’s rather funny that they’d go out and sign a guy who’s been about as effective as Oliver Perez and John Maine this year.  That’s what they did, though: they’ve signed Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal.

Ortiz, who was designated for assignment by the Dodgers last month after
posting a 6.30 ERA, hasn’t been worth a diddly durn for years, and it’s an open question if he was even worth a diddly durn back in the day. Before this year he spent the last two in AAA and in Japan. He was passable for Fresno last season, but he couldn’t really get anyone out playing for the Orix Blue Wave in 2008.

The only real justification I can see for the move is that the Mets are concerned that one of their minor league teams have been exposed to Legionnaires Disease and they need fresh bodies to avoid a string of forfeits.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
2 Comments

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

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
8 Comments

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.