“Lonnie Chisenhall seizes third base job with hot spring.”
That was the headline in the Cleveland Plain Dealer after Lonnie Chisenhall hit .412 in spring training and manager Terry Francona picked him as the Indians’ starting third baseman. But like so many players who had a “hot spring” this year he struggled when the games actually mattered.
And today, after Chisenhall hit just .213 with a .604 OPS in 26 games the Indians demoted him to Triple-A.
Chisenhall is still just 24 years old, but he’s now posted a sub-.700 OPS in 135 games as a big leaguer and perhaps most discouragingly has a hideous 98/19 K/BB ratio. He also hasn’t been much good defensively at third base, committing 20 errors in 108 starts there.
Mark Reynolds and Mike Aviles figure to split time at third base for Cleveland.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.