Alex White

Alex White notches first win as Jered Weaver goes without a K

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It wasn’t the expected result in Anaheim on Saturday night, as Jered Weaver went without a strikeout for just the second time in 152 career starts and was outdueled by rookie Alex White in the Indians’ 4-3 victory.

Weaver’s only previous strikeout-less performance came on June 10, 2007, when he allowed three runs in three innings against the Cardinals.  He came into this one having led the AL with 55 strikeouts in seven starts this season.  He fanned 15 in a win over the Blue Jays on April 10 and 10 in his shutout of Oakland on April 25.

But whether it’s the illness that pushed him back a day in the rotation a week ago or fatigue from having thrown so many pitches early on, Weaver just didn’t seem to be his usual self tonight.  His velocity was OK, but his slider was flat and the Indians had plenty of good hacks.

Weaver managed to keep his team in the game anyway, allowing four runs over six innings, but White was just enough better.  The 2009 first-round pick fanned six while giving up three runs over six innings.  Tony Sipp, Vinnie Pestana and Chris Perez followed with scoreless frames, giving the Indians their 22 win against 10 losses.

For White, it should have been the first of many.  The 22-year-old right-hander has an excellent 91-95 mph fastball and a plus slider.  The splitter that serves as his changeup wasn’t really necessary tonight, as most of the power in the Angels lineup comes from the right side of the plate.

White probably isn’t up for good; he’ll survive Carlos Carrasco’s return from the DL, but he is supposed to head back to Triple-A after Mitch Talbot is activated at the end of the month.  Yet even if White does spend another month at Columbus first, he should be a big factor in the second half.  There’s a long way to go yet, but if the Indians do reach the playoffs this year, it’d be a surprise if White isn’t in their ALDS rotation.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.

 

Jake Diekman will miss at least half of the 2017 season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Jake Diekman #41 of the Texas Rangers works against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning during game three of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 9, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.

Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.

The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.