This isn’t BSOHL territory — no one makes that claim here or anything close to it — but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Rafael Soriano has lost 10 pounds and looks a lot learner as camp opens.
Soriano started working a month early. He claims having extra weight on him last year is what sapped his velocity and kept him from throwing his breaking ball effectively. He became a fastball-only pitcher for all practical purposes and as Soriano notes, not many people can get away with that:
“If I’ve got my stuff and they hit it, I’m fine,” Soriano said. “I’ll take it. I got a problem when my second pitch is not there. Most of the time I throw a fastball. There’s one guy that do that [stuff]. Mariano [Rivera]. There’s nobody else.”
I bet he didn’t say “stuff.” And I bet here, when he was talking about Florida being cold compared to the Dominican, he didn’t say “messed”:
At the locker next to him, Ross Detwiler overheard Soriano’s plans. “Too cold?” Detwiler asked him.
“The problem is when I go to the Dominican right away, everything be [messed] up,” Soriano replied.
“You can come stay in St. Louis one winter with me,” Detwiler said.
“No chance, bro,” Soriano said, drawing laughter from Detwiler.
Interesting column about an interesting and, I would suspect, kinda complicated guy that is probably destined to hit the free agent market next winter.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.