It was just revealed that Francisco Cervelli will get the start behind the plate for game Game 4 tonight against the Rangers.
My first thought is to hate this move because Cervelli’s bat is pretty anemic and the Yankees need all the offense they can get. On the other hand, A.J. Burnett worked primarily with Cervelli during the year, and anything that makes Burnett more comfortable is a good thing if you’re the Yankees. On the third hand (I got a ton of hands here), I am predisposed to hate personal catcher situations on general principle. At the very least you should have better credentials than A.J. freakin’ Burnett before you’re entitled to choose your receiver. I didn’t even like it when Greg Maddux did it.
Ultimately, though, this probably won’t make a big difference. Posada hasn’t been hitting much himself lately. And of course, if Cervelli comes up in a key spot, Girardi is likely to pinch hit Posada for him anyway.
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.