Not only has Brandon League pitched his way out of the Dodgers’ closer job, it sounds like he won’t even be seeing any action as a setup man for a while.
Don Mattingly told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that he plans to only use League in “less stressful” situations, which is a nice way of saying “mop-up work.” According to the manager, the Dodgers’ coaching staff will try to “piece him back together” and in the meantime they’ll go with other options to hold leads in front of closer Kenley Jansen.
All of which certainly makes a lot more sense than sticking with League in high-leverage spots just because he’s got a $22.5 million contract. Dating back to May 1 he’s thrown 17 innings with a 6.75 ERA and 9/7 K/BB ratio, blowing three saves, taking three losses, and allowing opponents to hit .361.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.