Maybe it really is a news flash and not just an ironic one. Loria usually does stupid thins as opposed to saying them publicly. I’ll leave that analysis to someone who can stomach thinking about Jeff Loria for more than the time it takes me to do this post and then go cleanse my psyche with non-Loria thoughts.
Anyway, here’s Jeffy, unhappy with how the Marlins are doing:
“I’m not happy,’ he said in the clubhouse during the seventh inning of Florida’s 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay. Asked about his team’s play so far, Loria quickly vented his frustration.
“Uninspired baseball … Inconsistent and not acceptable. Very few guys have focused on what they’re here for. Very few … I know it’s only spring training, but it’s time to take a look in the mirror. We’re better than this. It’s time to show it. We need to be playing as a team and we need to hit.”
It’s spring freakin’ training. And while one can identify bad habits and bad signs in any given player over the course of the spring, I have yet to see any study whatsoever that shows a link between a team’s overall performance in spring training and how they do in the regular season.
And really, that’s what Loria’s on about here: the losses. Because nowhere in his quotes does he identify actual problems with the team other than the losses. He dismisses injuries — which is one of the few things that are relevant about spring training — and talks about “effort” and “inspiration” and other intangible hokum about which he knows very little. It’s the kind of thing you hear guys discussing in sports bars and on talk radio. Any serious baseball person knows that Loria is speaking in empty platitudes here. The Marlins haven’t won in spring training while he’s been down there. That’s all he knows. Boo-freakin’-hoo, Jeff, it’s irrelevant.
But there is something awesome about the story: the accompanying photo of Loria holding a stopwatch or a cell phone or something while “checking the pitch speed on Jhan Marinez.” As if he knows something about baseball other than how to make money in it and destroy franchises. It’s like a fantasy camp for billionaire art collectors who fancy themselves scouts or GMs or something. Cute!
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.