Daisuke Matsuzaka joining John Lackey on the disabled list has the Red Sox searching for rotation help and Sean McAdam of CSN New England reports that they’re desperate enough to consider Kevin Millwood.
Millwood signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees near the end of spring training, only to opt out of the contract two weeks ago after a pair of unimpressive starts at Triple-A.
According to McAdam the Red Sox would want Millwood to join the rotation at Triple-A for “a chance to evaluate him further.” It’s unclear if he’d be willing to do that when he wasn’t willing to remain at Triple-A for the Yankees, but at this point the 36-year-old right-hander is going to have to prove himself in the minors for some team before returning to the majors is even an option.
Not only did Millwood go 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA in 31 starts for the Orioles last season, he rarely got his fastball above the mid-80s while pitching at Triple-A last month. He’s also had an ERA above 5.00 in three of the past four seasons, so the Red Sox showing any kind of interest says a lot more about the sorry state of their rotation depth than it does about Millwood’s chances of making a big-league impact again.
Jon Morosi reports that the Mariners and the Marlins are “fairly close” on a trade that would send reliever David Phelps to Seattle. Earlier Ken Rosenthal and others reported that the sides were talking, but that a deal was not imminent.
Phelps, 30, had a fantastic 2016 season, posting a 2.28 ERA in 64 games while striking out 11.8 batters per nine innings. He’s not been as strong this year, but he’s still been a solid setup man, posting a 3.45 ERA in 44 games while striking out 51 batters and walking 21 in 47 innings. He throws in the mid-90s and induces grounders. Basically everything you want in a reliever, right?
The Mariners could probably use rotation help more than bullpen help, but solid innings are solid innings at one point and improving your pen takes some of the pressure off of your rotation.
Corey Sager homered in the Dodgers’ win over the White Sox last night. It was his 45th career homer, 44 of which have come while playing shortstop. While that’s great given that the guy has only played in 270 games, it’s not a lot of homers in an absolute sense. Thousands of players have more homers than that, obviously. Baseball has been around for a long time!
But it’s enough to set a record. A Los Angeles Dodgers record, specifically, for the most homers from a shortstop. It puts Seager past Rafael Furcal, who hit 43 while wearing Dodger blue. The record for the franchise, including Brooklyn, is Pee Wee Reese, who hit 122.
It seems astounding that no other Dodgers shortstop has hit more than 44 homers in the nearly 60 years since the club has been in Los Angeles, but it’s true. If you had asked me before I saw the factoid mentioned on Twitter I would’ve bet my life that Bill Russell would’ve had more. Not because he had any power — he was, in fact, one of the more punchless players of his era — but because he simply played in L.A. so long, logging 1,746 games at short for Walt Alston and Tommy Lasorda. Nope. He only hit 46 in his 18-year career, with a handful of those coming as an outfielder. His season high is seven. Seager has hit seven homers in May of his rookie season.
Oh well, you learn something new every day.