If you could gamble on anything, you could gamble on Jeff Loria, no matter how bad the Marlins’ prospects are, claiming that the team is on the verge of success.
And it’s not really optimism. There’s always some note of menace to it, as though he’s sending signals to the people in his organization that, no matter the situation on the ground, he expects the team to win or else heads will roll. There’s a Steinbrennerish quality to it that has to be unsettling for those under him. This is not a supreme problem now — the Marlins were expected to do good things this year, and not just by Jeff Loria — but in the past it was kind of crazy when he’d say it about a team with no talent and a ten cent payroll.
In any event, he’s at it again, telling Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald the following:
As disappointing as this season has been for him, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loriasaid he’s confident that, with the right moves to the roster, the team can become a winner by next year.
“I don’t think it’s going to take a long time at all,” Loria said Monday of the retooling process.
Spencer presses Loria on how that’ll happen and whose job, if anyone’s, is in jeopardy, but Loria keeps mum.
Same as always in Miami.
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.