Heading into the eighth inning of last night’s White Sox-Angels game Jeff Keppinger had yet to draw a walk in 140 plate appearances this season.
Angels reliever Michael Kohn was struggling to throw strikes, walking Conor Gillaspie and Dayan Viciedo back-to-back to load the bases with two outs for Keppinger, who came into the game with a lower on-base percentage (.182) than batting average (.185).
Four pitches later Keppinger was standing on first base with his first walk of the season, which forced in the go-ahead run (which proved to the game-winning run). So, to recap: Keppinger went (nearly) 33 games and 140 plate appearances without a walk, all while hitting .185, and then walked on four pitches with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of a tie game.
And yet people try to predict baseball.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.