Mariners will limit Michael Pineda to three more starts

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Earlier today Matthew Pouliot examined Michael Pineda’s chances of winning Rookie of the Year, but the Mariners just announced that he’ll have only three more starts in which to build his case.

Pitching coach Carl Willis told 950-KJR in Seattle that Pineda is scheduled to start on September 3, September 10, and September 21.

For much of the season there’s been speculation about how the Mariners planned to limit the 22-year-old right-hander’s workload and three more starts would give him a total of 28 starts and around 170 innings for the season. Pineda’s previous career-high was 139 innings last year in the minors, so that would represent an increase of about 20 percent.

Report: A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.