Yonder Alonso’s strong showing offensively and poor showing defensively led to some speculation that the Reds might clear a spot for him in the lineup by trading reigning MVP Joey Votto, but general manager Walt Jocketty put an end to those rumors today.
“We haven’t talked about it,” Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “I wish that people would stop writing it. Why would we trade one of the best players in the game? We’re trying to win.”
And he’s right.
Alonso projects as a very good hitter and valuable all-around player, but Votto is one of the half-dozen best hitters in baseball, just turned 28 years old, and is signed through 2013. If the Reds don’t think Votto and Alonso can co-exist in the same lineup defensively then they should be looking to trade Alonso.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.