Joey Votto hits everywhere, but he really, really loves hitting in Minute Maid Park.
For his career, he’s 55 for 129 with five homers, 19 doubles and 23 RBI in 32 games there, for a line of .426/.479/.736. That’s by far his best numbers at any park where he’s had 50 plate appearances or more. He’s been even more lethal in recent years there, as he’s hitting a cool .500 in 66 at bats in Minute Maid since the beginning of 2010.
Last night was no exception, going 4-for-4 with a homer off Wandy Rodriguez. For the night he drove in two and scored three times. He’s at .345/.475/.621 on the season with nine homers and 32 RBI. Just nutso.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon was released from his minor league deal with the Rangers on Saturday, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports. Despite his strong showing in spring training, Colon wasn’t considered a lock to make the Opening Day rotation. This may not be the end of his time with the team, however — according to multiple reports, the Rangers have expressed their desire to restructure a minor league deal with the right-hander and could work out an arrangement to keep him on as bullpen and Triple-A depth this season.
Colon, 44, is preparing for his 21st year in the majors. He split his 2017 campaign with the Braves and Twins, posting a cumulative 7-14 record in 28 starts and finishing the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings. While those numbers were some of the worst he’d seen since 2009, the veteran righty made a compelling case in camp this spring, holding batters to six earned runs, four home runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings.
The Rangers are expected to open the season with a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Perez is working his way back from an elbow injury in his non-throwing arm and is slated to miss his first start of the season, which would provide a brief window of opportunity for Colon when the Rangers hit the road in April.