Here’s an odd turn of events.
Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was suspended one game by Major League Baseball in mid-September for celebrating a walkoff win despite being ejected earlier in the contest. Kinsler appealed, and a report came out last week that suspected MLB would simply drop the punishment.
Now Kinsler has dropped his appeal, according to ESPN Dallas, choosing to take the day off Sunday in the wake of the Rangers clinching the American League West. Some in the industry call it “hangover day,” and he probably wouldn’t have played anyway.
So that’s where we sit. The Rangers are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 and Kinsler will take in Sunday’s series finale against the A’s from a skybox.
Kinsler, 28, has hit .275/.376/.438 this month with three home runs, seven RBI, 12 walks and four stolen bases. He’s getting hot at exactly the right time.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.