Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke with reporters at the Philadelphia Sportswriter Association banquet last night and explained that “we’re probably not going to re-sign” free agent reliever Chad Durbin.
Durbin spent the past three seasons in Philadelphia after signing as a free agent, going 11-7 with a 3.62 ERA and 188/109 K/BB ratio in 226 innings. He never really worked himself into a prominent late-inning role, but has proven to be a dependable middle reliever after struggling as a starter early in his career.
However, with Joe Blanton slated to be the Phillies’ fifth starter and Kyle Kendrick being pushed to the bullpen there just isn’t much room on the pitching staff. Durbin could help quite a few teams, but seems likely to wind up with only a minor-league contract at this point.
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.