Back in July the Blue Jays and the Astros struck a deal involving ten players. It was one of the larger trades you’ll ever see while also containing among the least amount of talent tonnage you’ll ever see. Classic sound and fury kind of deal.
The best player in the deal at the time it was announced was The Player to Be Named Later. He’s been around the league a long time and knows how to play the game the right way. Every team out there has sought The Player to Be Named Later at one time or another. His reputation is that good.
But now he’s been swapped out for an actual player: Kevin Comer, a right-handed pitching prospect the Jays drafted in the second round in 2011. He’s only been in rookie ball so far, having pitched ten games. He’s a marginal prospect at best now, but he did manage to handle the hard-partying nightlife of Bluefield, West Virginia so far, so that’s something.
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.