The Dodgers, who are already without both Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo, put another reliever on the DL Thursday after replacement closer Vicente Padilla came down with a sore forearm.
Padilla opened the season on the DL after elbow surgery, but he quickly claimed the closer’s after returning last month. That was because both original the Dodgers’ original closer, Broxton, and his presumed heir, Kuo, were struggling with injuries of their own.
With Padilla down, the Dodgers are left with Kenley Jansen, Matt Guerrier and Mike MacDougal as closing options.
Jansen, the converted catcher who was a sensation after debuting last year, was briefly sent down to Double-A last month, but he’s struck out seven in four scoreless innings since returning. He closed out a game last Friday after Padilla failed to get the job done in the ninth.
Guerrier would be manager Don Mattingly’s safest option, even though he’s a 32-year-old with six career saves to his credit. He picked up the save Tuesday in the Dodgers’ 3-0 win over the Brewers.
MacDougal is the man in the pen with all of the closing experience; he’s saved 70 games, including 20 with the Nationals in 2009. Still, he’s even wilder than Jansen, having walked nine batters in 14 2/3 innings this season.
Jansen is the one candidate of the three to run away with the job while Padilla is out. It’d certainly be best for Mattingly and the Dodgers if he could do so. Guerrier is at his most valuable working in tight games in the seventh and eighth innings.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.