According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, the Rockies couldn’t trade Brad Hawpe right now “no matter what.” The reason? They might need to play Hawpe at first base depending upon the health of Todd Helton.
Don’t buy it. It would behoove the Rockies to trade Hawpe now if they have no intention of picking up his $10 million option for next season. Factoring in his horrible defense, his futility against left-handers and the fact that Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler would make for a cheaper and more dynamic outfield, it’s very unlikely they will.
If the Rockies are truly sellers, they should be able to get by for a couple months of Jason Giambi, Melvin Mora and Brad Elrded at first base if it means getting a promising prospect or two. Hey, they could even find out if first base is a way to get Chris Iannetta in the lineup more regularly.
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 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.