Jose Fernandez, Sonny Gray named Pitchers of the Month for April

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Pitchers are players too, but nor for monthly awards. They get their own jam, and Sonny Gray of the Athletics and Jose Fernandez of the Marlins won this jam, being named Pitchers of the Month for April.

Fernandez led baseball with 55 strikeouts while posting a 4-1 record in six starts. Fernandez was tied for third among N.L. pitchers in wins while and was fourth in ERA with a 1.59 mark. He was also fourth among qualifying pitchers in opponents’ average, allowing 25 hits over his 39 and two-thirds innings of work. Yesterday’s start against the Dodgers doesn’t count for this, obviously, but he had ten strikeouts on a day he was described by many as having poor command. Which is quite a testament to how great his stuff is.

Gray went 4-1 record with a 1.76 ERA, one shutout and 37 strikeouts in 41.0 innings pitched over six appearances. Gray was tied for first in wins, was second in ERA, fifth in innings pitched and 12th in strikeouts. Opponents batted .220 off of him.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.