Giants ink Dontrelle Willis to minor league contract

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He’s baccccck…  Well, kinda.

According to the Giants’ official Twitter feed, the club has signed left-handed castoff Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Fresno.

Willis was dumped by the Diamondbacks on July 4 after allowing 14 earned runs and 27 walks in 21.1 innings as both a reliever and starter in the desert.  It’s not clear what the Giants want from him or why they think he might succeed with another crack at the National League West, but it’s a fairly low-risk contract.

The 28-year-old Willis began the 2010 season with the Tigers and has posted a a 5.62 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP in 65.2 total innings this season.  He also has a disastrous 47/56 K/BB ratio.  Fresno may be his home for quite a while unless he somehow regains the form that he showed years ago in Florida.

Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal to be examined for arm tightness

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Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.

Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.

Aaron Judge broke a dubious record last night

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Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.

Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, ¬†Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.

None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.