Bad Edinson Volquez shows up; Reds in trouble

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Edinson Volquez was pulled from Game 1 of the NLDS in the second inning with the Reds trailing the Phillies 4-0, leaving Cincinnati in a major hole against an obviously sharp Roy Halladay.
Reds manager Dusty Baker took a big risk in going with the volatile Volquez in Game 1. Volquez earned consideration for the assignment by reeling off four straight quality starts last month. Volquez, though, had four starts in which he had more earned runs allowed than innings pitched in 12 outings since returning from Tommy John surgery.
The safe play for Baker would have been Bronson Arroyo, who won 17 games this year. Arroyo, though, struggles against lefties and is 1-5 with a 5.54 ERA lifetime against the Phillies. He’ll go in Game 2 anyway.
The gutsy call would have been Travis Wood. Wood finished the year with a 3.51 ERA, and he pitched a one-hit shutout in his start against the Phillies back on July 10. Wood, however, was left out of the original rotation. He’s working in relief now trying to keep the Reds in the game, and if he’s successful, one has to figure he’ll be penciled in to start Game 4 should the series get that far.

Yankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash

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The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.

Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.

Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.

This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.