Jim Leyland, Joe West

Joe West’s crew strikes again

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As I mentioned in the recaps this morning there were ejections a-plenty in the Tigers-Angels game. In fact, there was one more than I had mentioned. Rick Porcello’s ejection wasn’t listed in the notes to the box score, seeing as though he wasn’t in the game at the time.  All in all:

  • Jim Leyland got ejected by Joe West after the final out in sixth inning, likely arguing about how Angel Hernandez made Justin Verlander get rid of a baseball he rubbed up behind the mound prior to a pitch. Which is not something I believe I’ve ever seen;
  • Verlander was ejected when he yelled at Angel Hernandez when he was leaving the mound in the eighth. Leaving the mound because he was leaving the game, having been lifted for a reliever.  Why an umpire feels it necessary to eject a guy who is heading to the showers is an open question;
  • As mentioned above, Rick Porcello was ejected in the ninth inning for yelling something from the dugout; and
  • On the Angels’ side, Bobby Abreu was ejected in the first inning for arguing a called strike.

Whenever I bring up this kind of thing someone comments that players and managers shouldn’t be disrespectful to umpires, going crazy arguing and all of that.  And that’s true.  But it’s also true that, as an official, an umpire needs to be a bigger man and not get all bent out of shape when the people he’s officiating offend his sensibilities.

This stuff happens with Joe West and Angel Hernandez way more than it happens with anyone else.  Someone should probably tell them that no one comes out to the ballpark see them run people, and no one likes it when games are decided in part because players and coaches are absent due to being ejected.

UPDATE: And don’t forget to check out the Joe West ejection counter over at The Platoon Advantage. It’s actually a pretty eye-opening look at what West and Co. are really up to.

Brewers sign Neftali Feliz

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 29: Neftali Feliz #30 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 29, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Pirates won the game 8-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.

The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.

Marlins acquire starter Dan Straily from the Reds

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 3: Dan Straily #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on September 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
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The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.

For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.

Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.

A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.