Dodgers sign Alfredo Amezaga to minor league contract

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According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Dodgers have signed veteran utility man Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league contract. The deal includes an invite to spring training.

Amezaga, who turns 35 later this month, hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2011 as a member of the Marlins. The switch-hitter spent all of last season with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, where he batted .274/.336/.372 with six home runs, 42 RBI, 12 stolen bases and a .707 OPS in 113 games.

Amezaga was previously a non-roster invitee with the Dodgers in 2010 following microfracture on his left knee, but he didn’t end up playing a regular season game with the club. With experience between both middle infield spots and center field, he could be in the mix for a super-sub role during spring training, but he’ll likely serve as organizational depth.

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.