After the Diamondbacks surprisingly slithered in to sign Cody Ross to a three-year, $26 million deal over the weekend, the general feeling was that they would trade one of their outfielders. Not much has changed on that front over the Christmas holiday.
One person familiar with the Diamondbacks’ thinking told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that “someone will go.” The implication here is that Justin Upton, Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra are all potentially available via trade. However, Heyman hears that the D-Backs would prefer to keep Parra because of his defense. It also helps that he’s cheap and remains under team control through 2015.
There are still quite a few teams who could be in the market for an outfielder, including the Rangers, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Braves and Rays. The Rangers have been mentioned most frequently in trade talks for Upton this offseason, but general manager Jon Daniels has reportedly been reluctant to part with Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in a potential deal.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.