Lots of rotation weirdness this year. Six mans, four mans. Here’s another six-man: the Atlanta Braves.
With Tommy Hanson coming off the disabled list, Fredi Gonzalez had to figure out who to bump. The most likely choices were Kris Medlen or Mike Minor, but given that everyone has pitched fairly well, Gonzalez has decided to go with all six dudes — Hudson, Hanson, Medlen, Minor, Sheets and Maholm — until the off day on August 30, and then go back to a five-man after that.
Meanwhile, Old Hoss Radbourn looks at this with disgust. Of course he’s looked at the very concept of a pitching “rotation” with disgust for a 128 years.
Best case: everyone continues to pitch well through then and Atlanta has fresher arms for the final playoff push. Worse case: three dudes drop like flies and I have to make posts that start out with “remember back when the Braves had more starters than they could use …?”
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.