Chris Carpenter, John Danks among winless starters

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11 pitchers had made at least five starts this year and are still looking for their first victories.  Here’s the list:

Jeff Francis (Royals) – 0-4, 5.09 ERA in eight starts
Tim Stauffer (Padres) – 0-1, 2.61 ERA in seven starts
John Danks (White Sox) – 0-5, 3.83 ERA in seven starts
Chris Carpenter (Cardinals) – 0-2, 4.19 ERA in seven starts
Madison Bumgarner (Giants) – 0-5, 4.21 ERA in seven starts
Jo-Jo Reyes (Blue Jays) – 0-3, 5.00 ERA in seven starts
Joe Saunders (Diamondbacks) – 0-4, 5.72 ERA in seven starts
Brad Bergesen (Orioles) – 0-4, 5.57 ERA in six starts (one relief)
Mat Latos (Padres) – 0-4, 4.55 ERA in five starts
Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies) – 0-2, 5.88 ERA in five starts
Nelson Figueroa (Astros) – 0-3, 9.00 ERA in five starts (two relief)

As the Toronto Globe & Mail points out, Reyes has gone 25 starts without a win since 2008. He’s 5-18 lifetime in 44 starts and four relief appearances.

Stauffer is the most unfortunate guy here. He was finally in line for his first win Friday after pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings and leaving with a 3-0 lead, but Heath Bell, with a lot of help from an ugly Chase Headley error, blew a save for the first time in 42 opportunities. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts.

Carpenter also deserves special mention for going winless for a first place team. The former 21-game winner has pitched just well enough to lose. His two best starts this season came in games where St. Louis managed just one run, and his two worst coincided with the Cardinals’ two offensive outbursts (an 8-7 loss to the Marlins on May 4 and a 13-8 loss to the Diamondbacks on April 12).

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.

The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.

Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.

As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.