UPDATE: The deal is now official, pending physical exams. Baltimore will send relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio to Arizona for Mark Reynolds.
President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail admitted this morning that the Orioles are “making progress” with the Diamondbacks on a trade for Mark Reynolds, which given the typical lack of public statements about in-the-works deals suggests the two sides are very close to getting something done.
Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that David Hernandez would likely be the centerpiece of the trade from Arizona’s point of view. He has underwhelming overall numbers with a 4.93 ERA in 181 career innings, but Hernandez thrived after moving from the rotation to the bullpen and is now viewed as a long-term reliever.
He was consistently knocked around as a starter, but Hernandez is 7-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 49/13 K/BB ratio in 40 innings as a reliever and also has the raw stuff teams generally look for in late-inning options. His average fastball this year clocked in at 94 miles per hour and he posted big strikeout totals in the minors.
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.