St. Louis signing Jhonny Peralta to a four-year, $53 million contract with the intention of playing him at shortstop seemed to shock an awful lot of people, so I thought general manager John Mozeliak’s pre-signing comments about acquiring a shortstop were worth noting (via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch):
One of the things we looked at when acquiring a shortstop was the amount of acquisition cost. For us, the asking price in the trade market seemed very prohibitive. There are two top shortstop candidates in the market, and one of the differences between them is there’s a righthanded hitter and a lefthanded hitter. We’re looking for a fit.
In other words the Cardinals tried to trade for a shortstop, but found the various asking prices (Shelby Miller? Matt Adams?) way too high. They also didn’t really feel like giving up a draft pick to sign Stephen Drew. And then finally they preferred the right-handed hitting Peralta over the left-handed hitting Drew, just in terms of how he fit into the existing lineup.
So they decided to simply throw money at the problem (and trust Peralta’s defensive numbers).
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.