The Miguel Batista experiment lasted all of one start, as the Mets designated the 41-year-old right-hander for assignment Sunday after he gave up four runs in three innings Saturday in a loss to the Dodgers.
After spending the previous couple of months in middle relief, Batista was named Dillon Gee’s rotation replacement. However, it appears Matt Harvey will come up next week and get a crack at the job.
Mets manager Terry Collins said he hoped Batista would clear waivers (likely) and would agree to pitch in the minors rather than elect for free agency (possible).
Harvey actually did just as bad as Batista yesterday, giving up six runs in five innings in a loss for Buffalo. Still, the 2010 first-round pick is worth a look. He’s 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA and a 112/48 K/BB ratio in 110 innings for Buffalo.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.