The Yankees and Rangers, No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in runs per game so far this season, will meet for the first time this season tonight. So, of course, they’ve both brought out the big guns, right?
Well, certainly, the top six for each lineup is incredibly strong. The designated hitters won’t be found there, though. They’re both batting eighth tonight. And for good reason.
The Yankees have their backup shortstop, Eduardo Nunez, DHing for the first time in his career. The usual strategy has been to play him at shortstop or third in order to give Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez a half-day off as a DH. However, after Sunday’s rainout, neither veteran needs that half-day off right now. Nunez has six homers and 40 RBI in 381 career major league at-bats.
The Rangers’ designated hitter is Brandon Snyder, a former first-round pick of the Orioles who was cast off by the team over the winter. But while he couldn’t help Baltimore, the two-time defending AL champs have given him an early look against lefties, starting him twice at first base. He’s gone 3-for-9 so far. Overall, he has no homers and four RBI in 42 major league at-bats.
It’s safe to say neither player will be reminding anyone of Jose Canseco, Chili Davis, Don Baylor, Sammy Sosa or any of the other muscle-bound sluggers of DH days past.
The Rockies are looking for a “front-of-rotation-type pitcher,” per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. He notes that the club is also in on free agent slugger Mark Trumbo.
Starting pitching has not been the Rockies’ strong suit in recent years. The club had baseball’s fifth-worst rotation ERA in baseball this past season at 4.79. It’s tough to entice big-name free agent pitchers to pitch given how their stats are adversely affected by the hitter-friendly nature of Coors Field. Trading would be one way around that.
Though Chris Sale is off the board, the Rockies could still try to pry Chris Archer from the Rays or Jose Quintana from the White Sox.
As presently constructed, the Rockies’ rotation includes Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and German Marquez.
SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo passes along an interesting piece of information. New Yankees OF/DH Matt Holliday has a no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to block a trade to exactly one team: the Athletics.
Holliday was briefly a member of the A’s back in 2009. He had a decent two months in Oakland, so it isn’t as if he feels he couldn’t produce there. However, the A’s do play their home games at Oakland Alameda Coliseum, which is the fifth-oldest stadium in baseball, having opened in 1966. You may recall that the Coliseum has had some issues recently. Three years ago, the coaches’ bathroom overflowed with sewage and sewage also came out of faucets. Earlier this year, there were more plumbing issues as the Yankees’ clubhouse toilet was backed up and water overflowed into the dugout. It’s understandable why Holliday might not want to play half his games there.