Aaron Cook is a free agent now that the Rockies have declined their $11 million option on him for 2012. And like a lot of recently-injured or ineffective starting pitchers, he said that he’d talk to the San Diego Padres. You know the pattern by now: it’s a big, pitcher-friendly park and it’s a great place for a one-year prove-yourself contract. The only downside: you don’t get to face the Padres offense several times a year. Still get the Giants, but no Padres.
But Cook told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he’d talk to another team too: the Cincinnati Reds. Not exactly an obvious choice given that they play in a bandbox, but as Armstrong notes, Cook has always pitched well in Great American Ballpark.
But let’s also be realistic: he’s pitched six games in that joint. Six. While, sure, he’s only pitched 11 in Petco Park, at least his results match up roughly with what a lot of pitchers do there (i.e. pitch better). Is he really confident that he’d continue to buck the trend of pitchers getting blown up on Cincinnati?
Call the Reds once and see what they’d do for you, Aaron. But go see the Padres in person. You may find your efforts in that direction more richly rewarded, at least in the long term.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.