How about this for an inning of work:
– Walk (one run)
– Single (two runs)
– Sac fly (one run)
– Infield single, E1 (one run)
– E6 (one run)
That was Alfredo Aceves’ third inning in what had been a 0-0 game between Oakland and Boston. What the above doesn’t show is that the infield single was Aceves’ fault. First baseman Mike Napoli made a great diving stop on the ball, but Aceves was late breaking from the mound to cover and Josh Reddick beat him to first base. Aceves then made a half-hearted throw home as the runner from second tried to score and the ball eluded Jarrod Saltalamacchia, giving the A’s their fifth run and putting Reddick on second. Reddick came around to make it 6-0 on a Will Middlebrooks error.
Aceves managed to keep the Red Sox in games in his first two starts in John Lackey’s place, winning one and taking a no-decision in the other. Tonight’s was pretty much a disaster, though, and he’s likely headed back to the pen with Lackey potentially returning Sunday. He’ll need to throw better there or risk being dropped from the roster sometime next month.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.