Following in the Marlins’ footsteps, the Astros have decided to go to a six-man rotation for the remainder of the season.
Houston made the change in order to get rookie Dallas Keuchel regular starts down the stretch alongside Jordan Lyles, Fernando Abad, Lucas Harrell, Bud Norris, and Edgar Gonzalez.
Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that the six-man rotation is a way to limit the workloads of young pitchers and also gives the Astros a chance to evaluate more starters for a potential role in 2013 and beyond.
Houston starters rank second-worst in the NL with a 4.70 ERA, ahead of only Colorado, and that mark includes some good pitching from Wandy Rodriguez before he was traded.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”