From Brewers director of media relations Mike Vassallo comes word that the Brewers have reached agreement on a minor league contract with free agent right-hander Francisco Rodriguez.
K-Rod passed his pre-signing physical on Wednesday morning at the Brewers’ spring training complex in Maryvale, Arizona.
The 31-year-old posted a rough 4.38 ERA across 72 innings last season for the Brew Crew and failed to attract many offers on the open market this winter. But the Brewers’ bullpen has been awful in the early going and they’re suddenly desperate for depth.
Rodriguez will probably spend a few weeks at extended spring training, but he could eventually be tried at closer in Milwaukee if John Axford is unable to get on track and Jim Henderson can’t handle the job either. K-Rod owns a 2.70 career ERA, a 1.18 career WHIP and 294 career saves in 11 major league seasons.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)