Credit the L.A. Times for that new nickname. But their headline writer and Mike DiGiovanna are only working off the reality on the ground:
The boos in Angel Stadium could be heard clearly after his sixth-inning strikeout Friday night, and they grew even louder and longer after he grounded out to third base in the bottom of the ninth.
And why were the booing? Because Albert Pujols took yet another 0 for 4 and the Angels were shut out by Blue Jays pitching for the second straight game. Last night it was Henderson Alvarez, who needed only 97 pitches as he six-hit the punchless Angels.
Mike Scioscia says he may sit Pujols for tonight’s game so he can clear his head. That’s great. But what does he do to clear the heads of the other 12 position players on the roster who can’t hit a lick?
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.