Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley finished a close second in NL Rookie of the Year voting last season, but he may be more well-known in the team’s clubhouse for his love of lottery tickets. In Steve Gilbert’s column for MLB.com, he describes how Miley and mental skills coach Peter Crone would sit together and scratch off lottery tickets every Sunday.
Crone and reliever J.J. Putz discussed pranking Miley and came up with a scheme involving the lottery tickets. From Gilbert’s article:
Fellow reliever Will Harris picked up a fake lottery ticket from Spencer’s and they mixed it in with the real ones last Sunday.
“I thought I won $10,000,” Miley said.
As he jumped around high-fiving his teammates in the trainer’s room, Crone brought him back down to earth.
“You know there’s a lot of people in here right now for no reason,” Crone told him.
It was then Miley realized he had been pranked. To make matters worse, the team sent the video to MLB Network’s Intentional Talk, and it aired this past week.
“They set me up,” Miley said. “The whole world knows now.”
As for his efforts on the field, Miley at least is following up his great rookie campaign with a solid sophomore season, posting a 3.63 ERA in 148.2 innings over 24 starts. That will surely help relieve any lottery-related embarrassment.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.