Orioles, Rangers have best bullpen ERAs so far

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Baltimore’s surprising start owes a lot to the relievers, who have gone 8-2 with a remarkable 1.54 ERA in 99 2/3 innings to date. Here’s the list of ERAs for every major league bullpen to date:

1. Orioles – 1.54
2. Rangers – 2.02
3. Yankees – 2.31
4. Reds – 2.34
5. Athletics – 2.59
6. Pirates – 2.76
7. Padres – 2.83
8. Astros – 2.90
9. White Sox – 3.03
10. Marlins – 3.45
11. Nationals – 3.47
12. Mariners – 3.71
13. Cardinals – 3.74
14. Royals – 3.75
15. Cubs – 3.81
16. Giants – 3.98
17. Twins – 4.01
18. Diamondbacks – 4.02
19. Braves – 4.06
20. Rockies – 4.09
21. Indians – 4.17
22. Dodgers – 4.23
23. Tigers – 4.25
24. Blue Jays – 4.25
25. Red Sox – 4.41
26. Rays – 4.45
27. Mets – 4.57
28. Brewers – 4.68
29. Angels – 4.75
30. Phillies – 4.86

– Give the Royals pen some extra credit here. Not only are they minus Joakim Soria and Greg Holland, but they’ve had the heaviest workload of any relief corps so far, throwing 110 1/3 innings. The next highest is the Rockies at 101 1/3.

– The Angels, on the other hand, have asked less of their pen than any other team and gotten it. Their relievers have thrown just 60 2/3 innings. The Phillies have the next fewest at 70 1/3 innings.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.