At one point this offseason the Reds were said to be interested in bringing back Francisco Cordero, but now John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that they “hold little hope of re-signing” the 36-year-old closer.
Fay speculates that Cordero might even be willing to re-sign on a one-year deal because the closer market is over-saturated, but doesn’t seem to think the Reds should do that or will do that, pointing to in-house candidates like Bill Bray, Sam LeCure, Jose Arredondo, Brad Boxberger.
He also tosses out Edinson Volquez as a possible closer option, which makes some sense if he doesn’t have a rotation spot. Volquez has just four career relief appearances, three of which came as a rookie in 2005, but he certainly has the raw stuff to thrive in short outings and hasn’t been the same as a starter since arm surgery.
Cordero saved 37 games with a 2.45 ERA this year, but his strikeout rate plummeted to a career-low 5.4 per nine innings and most closer-needy teams seem to view him largely as a fallback option.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.