David Aardsma was released by the Yankees earlier this month after he failed to secure a bullpen spot on the Opening Day roster, but it didn’t take him long to latch on with a new organization.
Aardsma broke the news on his Twitter account this afternoon that he has reached an agreement with the Marlins. ESPN’s Buster Olney confirms that it’s a minor league contract.
Health has been the biggest issue for Aardsma recently, as he missed all of 2011 with a hip injury and Tommy John surgery and was limited to just one appearance with the Yankees last season. However, the 31-year-old right-hander saved 69 games for the Mariners between 2009-2010 while posting a 2.90 ERA in 126 appearances, so it’s a worth a shot to see if he can get back to his old form. He’ll pitch with Triple-A New Orleans for now.
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.