Indians sign Jeremy Hermida to minor league deal

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Former top prospect turned journeyman Jeremy Hermida has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Indians, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

Hermida is still just 29 years old despite seemingly being around forever–he was the Marlins’ first-round pick in 2002–but he hasn’t gotten regular playing time in the majors since 2010 and hasn’t done so while actually being productive since 2009.

Baseball America rated Hermida as a top-30 prospect for three straight years, giving him the No. 4 overall ranking in 2006. Last season Hermida struggled at Triple-A for the Padres, but in 2011 he hit .319 with a .924 OPS in 105 games at Triple-A for the Reds.

He’ll compete for a bench spot or possibly a platoon role in Cleveland.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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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.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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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.