Geoff Blum apparently didn’t fill new general manager Kevin Towers’ “scrappy utility infielder” quota for the offseason, so Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Diamondbacks have signed Willie Bloomquist to a one-year, $1.05 million deal with a mutual option for 2012.
That means Diamondbacks fans will now be treated to months of newspaper articles and announcer-speak about how Bloomquist longs to be an everyday player and brings much more to the table than his numbers suggest.
Meanwhile, he got a chance to play regularly for the Royals in 2009 and hit .265/.308/.355 in 468 plate appearances for a 97-loss team and his .653 career OPS ranks eighth-worst among all active players with at least 2,000 plate appearances ahead of only Juan Castro, John McDonald, Cesar Izturis, Adam Everett, Nick Punto, Willy Taveras, and Alex Cora.
On the other hand, he’s surely among the MLB leaders in “scrappiness” during that same time frame.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.