It’s not difficult to understand why we as baseball fans root for the past-his-prime rookie. He is an underdog. He is like us in some ways. He is finally getting a shot in “The Show.” All that Hollywood stuff.
33-year-old John Lindsey, an infielder for the Dodgers, provided a Hollywood moment on September 9 of this season. After 16 years in the minor leagues, 1,571 games played on the farm and countless bus rides, Lindsey finally got his shot in a major league pinch-hitting appearance and … flew out.
To me, it’s always better that way. Feels more real.
Lindsey got a standing ovation that night by the alert Dodger Stadium crowd and eventually got his first hit. He racked up 12 major league at-bats over the past two weeks. But now he’s done for the season, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, due to a fracture in his left hand that he suffered when he was hit by a pitch during Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks.
That’s baseball. Ain’t it great?
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.