Indians want young starting pitching for Asdrubal Cabrera

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Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported late last week that the Cardinals have interest in acquiring shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians this offseason. And if the source giving information to ESPN’s Buster Olney is to be believed, there might just be a match:

The Cardinals have a ridiculous amount of good young starting pitching, extending from their major league roster all the way to the lower levels of their minor league system. Guys like Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal burst onto the scene during the 2012 season, and others like Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Jordan Swagerty and Tyrell Jenkins are still on the way.

Cabrera, 26, boasts a .272/.335/.443 batting line, 41 home runs and 160 RBI in 294 games since the start of the 2011 campaign. He would be a significant upgrade over Rafael Furcal, who has had durability issues.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.