Mariners hire Ted Simmons as senior adviser to GM

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According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Mariners hired Ted Simmons as a senior adviser to general manager Jack Zduriencik.

Simmons, 61, was the Padres bench coach for the past two seasons and held the same job with the Brewers in 2008. Zduriencik considered first Simmons for manager, but according to Heyman, the club hired Eric Wedge because they wanted someone with previous managerial experience.

Here’s what Zduriencik had to say about the hiring of Simmons, according to Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune.

“I am excited to add Ted to our front office group,” Zduriencik said. “His experience as an All-Star player, front office executive, scout and big league coach will be very valuable to us as a sounding board and advisor.”
Simmons may not have been the right fit for a managerial gig in Seattle, but with stops in the front offices of the Cardinals, Indians, Pirates and Padres, he has a wider range of experience than just about anyone in the game.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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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 Opening Day for the Padres

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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.