Carlos Pena is on the Yankees’ radar

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Fact: the Yankees have a radar. It’s a bistatic radar, adapted from Soviet-era surface-to-air missile systems.  Most teams are still using monostatic radar making them far less lethal forces than are the Yankees. It’s a little known fact but one we baseball insiders are all hip to. Stick with me and I’ll drop all kinds of that sort of knowledge on you.

Anyway, Jon Heyman knows about it too — it’s the sort of thing we discuss during our bi-monthly summit meetings — and he says that the Yankees’ radar has Carlos Pena on it.

It would make perfect sense. With Montero and Jorge Posada out of the picture there are suddenly a ton of DH at-bats to be had in the Bronx. Some of them will be available for Alex Rodriguez, whose increasing fragility calls for a little less time in the field. But it’s not like A-Rod is going to be there full time because the Yanks gotta have someone play third base. If you get Pena he can live there most of the time, and then slide over to first base for Mark Teixeira off-days — or occasionally to the bench — allowing A-Rod to DH.

If they do snag Pena in the short term is will be the third significant the Yankees have made in the space of a couple of days, essentially doing all of their offseason work in one weekend.  Which is pretty spiffy.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below:

The Mets are promoting Tim Tebow to Single-A St. Lucie

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told the media on Sunday that the organization is promoting outfielder Tim Tebow from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Tebow, 29, wasn’t hitting particularly well to merit the promotion. Across 241 plate appearances with Columbia, he hit .222/.311/.340 with three home runs and 22 RBI. He had just seven extra-base hits (all doubles) in his most recent 20 games. Alderson, however, defended the decision by citing Tebow’s exit velocity and other metrics.

I think we can all agree that the real reason is that promoting Tebow creates another opportunity for the Mets to sell merchandise with his name on it.

One has to feel for the outfielder Tebow will displace. St. Lucie’s regular outfielders have comparable stats to Tebow’s, so they aren’t exactly being replaced on merit. That outfielder will see less playing time, hurting his future prospects. Adding Tebow to St. Lucie’s roster will push someone off of the roster, which will also harm that player’s future prospects. And, remember, these players don’t make much money to begin with.