Cliff Lee “baffled” at the way the Rangers treated Michael Young

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Cliff Lee, who played for the Rangers for a few months, weighed in on new teammate Michael Young’s treatment by those same Rangers. He said the Rangers “borderline took him for granted” and otherwise treated him poorly:

“I think that baffled a lot of people who were around that organization … I can’t understand their thinking on a few of the moves they made with him. He’s a really good player. I don’t know why you wouldn’t just let him do his thing … in my opinion, you want guys like Michael Young around. And you want him to be happy. And you want to let him go out there and just do what he does.”

I have no idea what the Rangers allegedly did to mistreat Young. He was moved off shortstop, second and third for better players. Despite this he was always a full-time player, routinely playing in 150+ games a year with 600+ plate appearances.

I have heard that the lines of communication were poor and that may very well have led to some bad blood between Young and the front office. But Young likewise didn’t always communicate well, turning beefs with the front office, legitimate or otherwise, into trade demands and public drama.

Clearly stuff happened and clearly it took two to tango, but if someone could tell me how that amounted to Young not “being able to do his thing,” I’d really like to hear it.

Ivan Nova finally issued his first walk. It was to an AL pitcher taking his first major league at-bat.

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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.

Pirates looking for outside outfield help

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates GM Neal Huntington is looking for outside outfield help in the wake of Starling Marte‘s 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. With Marte out of the picture, the club moved Andrew McCutchen back to center field and have played Adam Frazier, John Jaso, and Jose Osuna in right field. But, as Brink points out, Osuna and Jaso — neither an outfielder by trade — misplayed balls over the weekend against the Yankees.

Among available free agents, the pickings are slim. There’s Coco Crisp, Jeff Francoeur, Cole Gillespie, Kelly Johnson, and Nolan Reimold (who is currently in independent baseball). The Pirates may have to find themselves a trade partner. They could also try to talk Angel Pagan back into action, as the veteran outfielder recently said he’s taking the year off. The Pirates could also look at Leonys Martin, who was recently designated for assignment by the Mariners.