That story in which Melky Cabrera’s agents — the Levinsons — are alleged to have facilitated clients’ acquisition of PEDs by setting up checking accounts and things? It’s being corroborated, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The problem? The chief corroborator is Kirk Radomski:
“I will corroborate the relationship I had with Paul and the Levinsons,” Radomski, the former New York Mets clubhouse attendant, said in a telephone interview. “I met players through their agents. I met players through other players.”
Obviously Radomski would be in a position to know — he’s the PED dealer at the center of the allegations, so what he says is relevant. But he also has extreme credibility problems. His testimony at the Roger Clemens trial was pretty destructive to the government’s case. Mostly because it differed from his testimony before the grand jury. Which differed from the accounts in the book he wrote (and for which he received a $450,000 advance).
While MLB took Radomski’s word as gospel for the Mitchell Report, one would hope that if baseball is going to make a case against the Levinsons for being in the PED business, it’s going to rely on someone besides Radomski to do so.
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.