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“Chavez Ravine might have the worst beer selection in the bigs”

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A couple of weeks ago I linked a guide to craft beer selection in the various ballparks that, many have said, was incomplete. To that end, I’m on the lookout for true, in-depth beer reviews of ballparks. If you have one — recent ones — or if you care to do a comprehensive one, by all means do and I’ll link and/or excerpt it, because this is news we can use.

My friend Eno Sarris of FanGraphs (and a million other sites) knows his beer. And he went to Dodger Stadium recently and reviewed the selection. His review is up over at FanGraphs. And I gotta tell ya, the selection in L.A. is lacking:

If you are looking to alter your experience through the use of a society-approved liquid drug, then the stadium is ready to provide. Their prices and sizes are very pocket-friendly: you can get a 24-ounce ‘tall boy’ domestic draft beer for $10.25, which is better value than most stadiums provide. These are large beers for a good price.

If your aim is to drink the best-tasting beer that you might want to drink while facing the pitch, well then Chavez Ravine might have the worst beer selection in the bigs.

Mostly because it’s all gussied-up macrobrew:

To recap: so far we have a choice between Budweiser, Hefe Budweiser, Korean Budweiser Dutch Budweiser and Mexican Budweiser. In a simpler time, that might suffice.

Today, there are too many craft beer aficionados to assuage with this selection. Of course, there are a few craft beers if you looked hard enough, but the reward didn’t quite match the effort.

My personal thing: I really don’t like Bud or Miller Lites, but I’ll drink a Bud Heavy or a High Life if that’s all that’s available. It’s wet. It’s beer. I am not one of those people who MUST HAVE CRAFT BEER.  I can deal just fine with whatever you got.

But really, how hard is it to set up a couple of places with some top-end stuff for those who really appreciate it? Seems like a no-brainer.  Serious beer snobs — and I use that term lovingly — will pay through the nose for their hops.

If Brett Anderson hits better this year, thank Josh Donaldson

Los Angeles Dodgers' Brett Anderson ducks away from a pitch from Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher David Holmberg on a bunt attempt during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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Or, at the very least, thank his bat.

Brett Anderson, who hit a meaty .085/.173/.106 last season, just got his first 2016 bat delivery, it seems. He posted a pic of the shiny lumber on Twitter a few minutes ago, with a message to his former teammate, the reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson, whose “JD” initials signifying whose model number it is are plainly visible on the barrel:

 

If Anderson breaks out offensively this year — say, he pushes that OBP over .200 — I may reconsider my “DH in the National League now” argument and merely suggest that pitchers get better bats.

In other news, whose bat was Zack Greinke using last year? And did he leave any behind at Camelback Ranch? Might be worth looking.

Diamondbacks working on a deal with Tyler Clippard

at Citi Field on July 28, 2015 in Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
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Last week Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart revealed that he was interested in signing free agent reliever Tyler Clippard and now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the two sides have “made progress toward a deal.”

Piecoro notes that by trading Aaron Hill and his remaining contract to the Brewers the Diamondbacks created a bit of payroll flexibility that they could use to sign Clippard.

Clippard has a long history of excellent work as both a setup man and closer, but his raw stuff and secondary numbers have declined even though his ERA remained very good at 2.92 last season for the A’s and Mets. His strikeout rate dipped to a career-low 8.1 per nine innings, which is drop of about 25 percent from 2009-2014.

Two elite Cuban players defect

cuba hat
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Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com just reported that Yulieski Gurriel & Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who are brothers, reportedly defected and will be seeking MLB deals. There aren’t any details yet, but Sanchez will be updating with a full story that we’ll link here when he has it. UPDATE: Here it is.

Yulieski is a 31-year old third baseman and, according to Baseball America’s Ben Badler he was the No. 1 player remaining in Cuba. He was one of the Cuban players who was permitted to play in Japan recently, and he just put up a .305/.349/.536 season with 11 homers in 62 games for the Yokohama Bay Stars and has continued to rake in Cuba. He is likely major league ready right this instant. He’d be an unrestricted free agent given his age and team’s signing him would not be subject to international bonus pool limits.

Lourdes is only 22 years old. He’s hit .269/.355/.414 in 1036 Serie Nacional plate appearances and Badler thinks he has 20-homer potential in the majors one day. He’s currently a shortstop, but is probably destined for a corner. He is young enough to where he would be subject to bonus pool limits. Several teams have already exceeded those limits for the current signing period, limiting the number of teams who could sign him. If, however, it takes MLB a long time to clear him as a free agent — and with immigration issues and the like, that’s very possible — he may not be eligible to be signed until next year, which could bring some other teams into the fold.

 

Indians close to signing ex-Nationals reliever Craig Stammen

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Right-hander Craig Stammen, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Nationals, is expected to sign with the Indians.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Indians “hope to finalize a deal” with Stammen today, adding veteran depth to the bullpen. It’ll likely be a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Stammen missed nearly all of last season following elbow surgery and the Nationals non-tendered him, but he’s scheduled to be ready for spring training. After struggling as a starter early in his career he’s posted a 3.02 ERA in 280 innings out of the bullpen, so if healthy it’d be a nice addition for Cleveland.