The Diamondbacks begin play today with a major-league worst 4-11 record and are already six games behind the first-place Dodgers in the National League West, so they have decided to shake things up their starting rotation.
Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona reports that the Diamondbacks will move the struggling Trevor Cahill to the bullpen. Mike Bolsinger has been called up from Triple-A Reno and will make his first major league start Saturday against the Rockies.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson hinted last week that Cahill’s spot was in jeopardy, so six runs (two earned) on five hits and five walks over four innings yesterday against the Dodgers was apparently the last straw. The 26-year-old right-hander is 0-4 with a 9.17 ERA and 13 walks over 17 2/3 innings this season.
Cahill is owed $20 million through 2015 and his contract includes a pair of club options for 2016 and 2017, so the Diamondbacks have some incentive to get him straightened out. As far as early April decisions go, this feels like a panic move, especially since Bolsinger and Josh Collmenter aren’t better bets for success. The Diamondbacks are clearly focused on winning now, so it might not be long before we see top prospect Archie Bradley make his major league debut.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported over the weekend that the Cubs and reliever Pedro Strop agreed to a contract extension. He’ll remain with the Cubs through 2018 and the new deal includes a club option for the 2019 season as well. Per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Strop will earn $5.85 million in 2018 and the club option is worth $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout. The two sides already avoided arbitration earlier this month, agreeing on a $5.5 million salary for the 2017 season.
Strop, 31, has been a very reliable reliever for the Cubs over the last three years. He has a combined 2.65 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 69 walks over 176 1/3 innings in that span of time.
The Cubs replaced Aroldis Chapman with Wade Davis, so Strop and Hector Rondon will be bridging the gap to Davis this coming season.
Strop joined the Cubs along with Jake Arrieta in the July 2013 trade that sent Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman to the Orioles. That trade panned out well for the Cubs.
Sure, it may feel gimmicky to go around asking players to make predictions for the Academy Awards, but when it comes to the Athletics’ John Axford, he knows what he’s talking about. The right-hander has a proven track record of making near-perfect ballot predictions, getting 14 of 15 winners correct in 2013, 18 of 18 in 2014, 17 of 24 in 2015 and 17 of 24 again in 2016.
With a range of award-worthy films to choose from this year, Axford selected the crowd-pleasing (and record-breaking seven Golden Globe winner) La La Land for Best Picture, Manchester By the Sea‘s Casey Affleck for Best Actor and “the sweetheart of Hollywood,” Emma Stone, for Best Actress.
His full ballot was released to Twitter on Saturday, locking in La La Land for eight total Oscars. Going a perfect 24-for-24 might be a near-impossible feat, but if anyone can pull it off, Axford’s the one to do it.