Let’s stop talking about games that have been cancelled and start talking about games that matter. Like the series that really and truly matters most this weekend, the Angels vs. the Rangers.
Who’d-a-thunk it a week and a half ago when Texas soundly dispatched Anaheim, taking three of four in the Big A, and extending their division lead to seven? Then the Angels went on a tear and the Rangers lost their gravity and here we are with only two games separating the two.
Tonight is Dan Haren vs. Derek Holland. Haren was knocked around by the Rangers back on July 20th, but he’s on a bit of a roll right now. Holland is the opposite: he was pretty sharp the last time out against Texas but has had a rough go of it in August otherwise, most recently being beat up by the White Sox. I’m told by the sports writing guild that I am obligated to say “something’s gotta give” here, but I’m not even sure that applies. But hey, rules are rules.
In the other two games it’s C.J. Wilson vs. Joel Piniero and then Colby Lewis vs. Jered Weaver on Sunday Night Baseball.
Real pennant race baseball. And no hurricanes. Guaranteed.
Mariners’ right-hander Arquimedes Caminero is nearing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. The club has reportedly agreed to sell the 29-year-old’s contract, Dutton writes, though no official move has been announced by either team yet. Caminero is under club control through 2020 and currently ineligible for arbitration.
The right-hander began the 2016 season with the Pirates but was sent to the Mariners in a trade for Seattle minor leaguers Jake Brentz and Pedro Vasquez in order to clear space in the Bucs’ bullpen. With the Mariners, Caminero produced a 3.66 ERA and 8.2 K/9 through 19 2/3 innings in the second half of the year. Although he boasts an electric fastball, one which consistently averaged 98.7 m.p.h. in 2016, his success rate has been tempered by poor control throughout his major league career. According to Dutton, the Mariners’ willingness to sell Caminero’s contract was a strong indication that they did not see him as a viable contender for their 2017 bullpen or as a potential trade chip further down the line.
Should the deal go through, the right-hander will be the second former Mariner to sign with a Japanese club for the 2017 season. Per Dutton’s report, outfielder Stefen Romero also picked up a contract with the Orix Buffaloes of NPB in late November.
During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.
The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.
The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.