Arthur Rhodes and Fernando Tatis audition for Orioles

12 Comments

According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles turned back the clock by holding workouts for left-hander Arthur Rhodes and infielder Fernando Tatis in recent days. And you thought the Orioles’ offseason has been boring.

Rhodes didn’t pitch in the majors last season and had a 4.64 ERA and 21/11 K/BB ratio over 33 innings between the Rangers and Cardinals in 2011. The 43-year-old was originally drafted by the Orioles in the second round in 1988 and spent his first nine major league seasons with the club. He still lives in Baltimore.

It’s been even longer since Tatis’ last stint in the majors, as the 38-year-old appeared in 41 games with the Mets in 2010 prior to undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. Best known as the only player to hit two grand slams in one inning, Tatis had a brief stint with the Orioles back in 2006.

It wouldn’t cost more than a minor league deal to bring either player aboard, so it’s worth a shot. Who knows, maybe Tatis will be the 2013 version of Lew Ford.

Robert Gsellman wins spot in Mets’ rotation

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
1 Comment

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.

Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.

Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.

Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.

Javier Baez: “This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it.”

Denis Poroy/Getty Images
2 Comments

Infielder Javier Baez is back in camp with the Cubs after helping Puerto Rico to a second-place finish in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was the focal point of what was, to many, the most memorable play of the entire tournament: Baez pointed at catcher Yadier Molina, who was attempting to throw out a would-be base-stealer, before applying the tag for the final out of the eighth inning.

While Baez didn’t receive much criticism for his theatrics, aside from an insignificant handful of spoilsports, he is one of the players who most exemplifies the emotional, celebratory culture that foreign players bring to Major League Baseball. U.S. (and Tigers) second baseman Ian Kinsler is on the other side of that spectrum, as he said prior to the WBC final that he hopes kids mimic the solemn way U.S. players play the game rather than the emotional, passionate way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play the game.

Baez isn’t about to apologize for the way he and his teammates play the game. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Baez said, “We do a great job playing and having fun out there. That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it. but, you know, everybody’s got their style and their talent. I have a lot of fun.”

He continued, “It’s their choice to look at how we play, how excited we get. To us, it’s really huge what we did, even though we didn’t win. All of Puerto Rico got really together. We were going through a hard time over there and everything got fixed up for at least three weeks. Hopefully, they keep it like that.”