Cliff Lee is obviously atop the Yankees’ offseason shopping list regardless of whether or not general manager Brian Cashman is “desperate” to sign him, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that they’ve also “expressed interest in” Jorge De La Rosa.
De La Rosa is a left-handed starting pitcher, so it seems pretty obvious that any interest the Yankees have in him is as a fallback plan should Lee sign elsewhere, which is fortunate for De La Rosa in that it could help drive up his asking price.
New York is one of several teams linked to De La Rosa already this offseason and the left-hander is widely viewed as the second-best starter on the market behind Lee, but that has more to do with a weak crop of free agent starters than it does De La Rosa.
De La Rosa turned his career around after being traded to the Rockies in 2008 and has great strikeout numbers, but he’s also a 30-year-old pitcher with a 5.02 career ERA, has never posted an ERA below 4.20, and has never thrown 190 innings. His three-year run in Colorado was very solid, as he went 34-24 with a 4.49 ERA and 434 strikeouts in 437 innings, but he also walked 4.1 batters per nine innings, missed significant time with injuries, and posted a mediocre 4.19 ERA away from Coors Field.
De La Rosa is a good starting pitcher, but he’s also one of the best bets to be overpaid this offseason.
Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.
Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.
The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.
If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.
If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.
Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.
Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.
It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.