This offseason Paul Konerko seriously considered signing with the Diamondbacks, in large part to be closer to his family, but ultimately decided to re-sign with the White Sox for $37.5 million over three years.
With the White Sox heading to Arizona for an interleague series that begins tonight Konerko told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that he doesn’t regret the decision:
When you make a decision like that you have to know you made the right decision at that moment, especially with all the information in front of you. If that means you had a bad year, the team didn’t do well, the team you were supposed to go to does great, you have to make a commitment to not judge a decision … comparing it to what you could have had.
If you’re going to do that, you have to do that as the whole body of that contract. It would have to be three years from now. And you can never play that game because you never know if it would have worked out had you gone to the other place. Who knows?
In other words, the Diamondbacks (38-32) actually have a better record than the White Sox (33-37), but we’re not even halfway through the first season of a three-year deal and Konerko is playing very well, hitting a career-high .321 with 16 homers and a .945 OPS through 67 games.
Meanwhile, instead of paying huge money to Konerko the Diamondbacks went with a cheap platoon of Juan Miranda and Xavier Nady at first base and rank 11th among NL teams with a .741 OPS from the position.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.