Just when it looked like the Twins might be getting some positive news on the health front with Joe Mauer finally catching in extended spring training the team announced that Jim Thome and Jason Kubel are the latest members of the injury wrecked lineup to be placed on the disabled list.
Thome and Kubel join Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka as hitters on the DL, with Ben Revere and Luke Hughes coming up from Triple-A to replace them, which leaves the Twins with the following lineup for tonight’s game against the Royals:
Denard Span, CF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Justin Morneau, DH
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Danny Valencia, 3B
Delmon Young, LF
Ben Revere, RF
Rene Rivera, C
Matt Tolbert, SS
Yuck. All nine of those hitters have a slugging percentage below .400 and Span is the only hitter with an on-base percentage above .325.
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.