Todd Zolecki of MLB.com asked Charlie Manuel about his projected lineup and the Phillies manager uttered this quote regarding new right fielder Delmon Young possibly batting fifth:
Yeah, he can hit fifth. He definitely can hit fifth. I think once we get to spring training and put him in and let him play, I think hitting is definitely his strong point. I think he’s a good hitter.
Basically all you need to know about Young’s career is that he has a .317 on-base percentage and .425 slugging percentage in 880 games and yet saying “hitting is definitely his strong point” is undeniably true.
By the way, Young has batted fifth more often than any other lineup spot during his career, logging 1,352 plate appearances there. And he’s hit .267 with a .294 on-base percentage and .385 slugging percentage.
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.