Casey Blake is off the disabled list and in the Dodgers’ lineup for today’s game after beginning the season on the sidelines with a back injury suffered in the middle of spring training.
Blake is starting at third base and batting second, and his return also means the Dodgers have shifted Juan Uribe to second base while putting Jamey Carroll back on the bench.
Don Mattingley’s decision to bat Blake second is an odd one, as he had a below-average .320 on-base percentage last year and has a modest .336 career OBP. Blake has hit second in 17 percent of his career plate appearances, but hasn’t done so regularly since 2007 and has a .317 OBP in that spot. And needless to say he’s not a particularly speedy runner at age 37.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.