Giants get Orlando Cabrera from Indians

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The Indians are definitely doing more adding than subtracting at the moment, but they’ve decided Orlando Cabrera is expendable and they traded him to the Giants for outfielder Thomas Neal.

Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com and Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle had the initial reports.

Cabrera had hit just .244/.277/.321 while serving as the Indians’ primary second baseman for most of the first four months.  He had recently lost time to rookie Jason Kipnis, and he figured to see his role scaled back further.  With Cabrera out of the picture, the Indians could bring back either Cord Phelps or Luis Valbuena from the minors.

The Giants will likely shift Cabrera back to his natural position of shortstop.  He probably won’t be an everyday guy, but he should be able to help out, particularly against lefties in a job share with Mike Fontenot.  One wonders if Miguel Tejada will be released to make room for him.

Neal, 23, is a fringe prospect.  He had a big year at Single-A San Jose in 2009, but he posted a .799 OPS in Double-A in 2010 and a .761 mark in the PCL so far this year.  He projects as a fourth outfielder at best in the majors, and he probably won’t make a significant contribution this year.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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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 Opening Day for the Padres

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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.