Jhoulys Chacin is NOT in the Best Shape of His Life

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The winter isn’t just for those players who are in the Best Shape of Their Lives.  Sometimes guys go in the opposite direction.  For example, according to the Denver Post, Colorado Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd is not pleased with Jhoulys Chacin’s conditioning:

Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin disappointed O’Dowd with his offseason workouts. O’Dowd believes Chacin needs to drop weight, because the added pounds affect the balance in his delivery and undermine his fastball command. Chacin spent much of the winter training in Venezuela rather than working out in Tucson. A person close to Chacin said Thursday the right-hander weighs 226 pounds — and expects to be close to the 218 he was last spring when he reports to spring training Feb. 19.

Chacin, while obviously effective, had some issues last year with forearm tightness and things like that. He also had his heaviest workload ever, however, so anything that is going to keep him healthy and in the rotation is a good thing. So, yeah, burn some of that weight, Jhoulys.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.