Catcher-turned-pitcher Robert Stock talks move to the mound

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I missed it when it was posted last week, but MiLB.com has an in-depth look at Robert Stock’s first year in the pen in the Cardinals chain. A 2009 second-round pick as a catcher, he made the switch this spring after hitting .241/.320/.347 in 2 1/2 years as a pro.

Stock had a 4.56 ERA in 71 innings as a reliever in the Midwest League this year before getting shut down with a sore shoulder last month. In the Andrew Pentis interview, he talks about his mindset as a former catcher on the mound and grades his pitches. He also says Stock the batter would have won the battle against Stock the pitcher this year:

“This year, the batter would win,” said Stock, who would work himself (against himself) into a hitter’s count and hunt for a fastball. “Hopefully, next year, the pitcher would win.”

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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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 demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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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.