Put this firmly in the category of scuttlebutt and rumor, not news, but someone who tends to know about this kind of thing is telling me that the feds could obtain an indictment on Roger Clemens any day now. The last intelligence my source had on it was that it could happen “around the All-Star break.”
To be clear — predicting indictments is kind of a sucker’s game. I had a client under federal grand jury investigation for 18 months once, and every other day someone called me to tell me “hey, your dude is about to get indicted.” Funny thing happened, though: he never got indicted. I’d like to say it was because I’m a totally awesome lawyer, but that’s not true (if it was, would I be doing this for a living? OK, maybe I would, but still). The fact is that no one on the outside of these things really ever knows how it’s going to break until it does.
All of that said, this is some rather specific intelligence on the time frame. And to be sure, it involves a guy who was really damn brazen during his testimony in front of Congress and was directly contradicted by another witness. The feds have been investigating Clemens for a long time now, and have been presenting testimony to the grand jury for months. Just this morning his old boss was talking about a lot more information coming out soon. That tends to happen when someone gets indicted. You get the sense they want him, and in our system if a prosecutor wants someone bad enough, they can at least be fairly confident of getting an indictment. I mean, we’ve all heard the old adage about how you can indict a
ham sandwich, right?
So yeah, this might merely be smoke. But I think there’s enough heat to it that we shouldn’t act all shocked if Roger Clemens is indicted sometime soon.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.