Rockies sign Matt Belisle to a two-year contract

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The Rockies have inked Matt Belisle to a two-year, $6.125 million contract, according to the right-hander’s agency CAA.

Brief sidenote: It’s interesting to see how many contract announcements were made over Twitter this offseason, either by the team or an agency. It probably won’t be long before this is commonplace.

Anyhow, the Rockies and Belisle avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.35 million contract last month, so this new deal buys out his first year of free agency, as well. He could make more with performance-based incentives.

Belisle had a 5.10 ERA over 156 major league appearances prior to 2010, but he was arguably the most valuable arm in the Rockies’ bullpen last season, posting a 2.93 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 91/16 K/BB ratio over 92 innings.

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.