Everyone figured that Bob Brenly was on his way back to Arizona after his exit from the Cubs booth was confirmed Wednesday. The Diamondbacks made it official today, naming him their TV color guy, and announced a surprise choice as the new play-by-play man: ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume.
The move keeps Brenly in the booth with a number friendly play-by-play guy. Berthiaume has an active presence on twitter and shows a fondness for advanced stats. He seems like a great choice for Arizona, and the new booth figures to be a nice upgrade over the Daron Sutton-Mark Grace pairing that disintegrated in 2012.
As for Len Kasper’s new partner in Chicago, that’s still up in the air. Kerry Wood told CSNChicago’s David Kaplan that he has no interest in the job. Kaplan mentions Todd Hollandsworth, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Lyons, Eric Karros and Dan Plesac as some possibilities to join WGN. He also brings up Doug Glanville, who would be a terrific choice, in my opinion. Grace doesn’t appear to be a candidate.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.