Red Sox land Kevin Cash, send Angel Sanchez to Astros

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Alyson Footer, who works for the Astros as their director of social media, reports that Houston has traded 32-year-old catcher Kevin Cash to the Red Sox for shortstop Angel Sanchez.

It’s a pretty minor deal, but should work out well for both sides.  The Red Sox have been scrambling for a reliable backup since Victor Martinez hit the disabled list and Jason Varitek was promoted to starting duties.  The Astros, meanwhile, have been on the hunt for middle infield help since losing shortstop Tommy Manzella to a fractured left index finger.

Cash hit .207/.271/.333 with two home runs and one double in 61 plate appearances for the Astros this season.  He played for the Red Sox from 2007-2008.

Sanchez, 26, failed to get a hit in his three at-bats for the Red Sox this year.  He spent most of his time at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he batted .274/.348/.327 in 223 at-bats.

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.