Adam Wainwright was outstanding yet again last night, notching 12 strikeouts while pitching eight shutout innings. He allowed just five hits and a walk. All five hits were singles.
Wainwright is now 8-2 on the season with a 1.67 ERA and 77 strikeouts to 16 walks in 81 innings. He turns 33 in August and simply looks better than he ever has. Which is saying a lot given that he has been so fantastic for so long.
I was about to say that he was the clear favorite to be the NL Cy Young Award winner so far — and he may be — but to get there I took a gander at the NL pitching leaders and it’s hard to get one’s mind around how many great years dudes are having. Between Wainwright, Samardzija, Greinke, Cueto, Teheran, Tim Hudson, Wily Peralta and many more, it’s been almost silly. Wainwright may be the best pitcher among them so maybe he’s the favorite among them all to make his great first two months carry over for the rest of the season.
But I gotta be honest and say that, selfishly, I want to see Jeff Samardzija dominate and continue to get no run support so that he’s 0-14 but leads the NL in almost every pitching category so as to set up a final apocalyptic showdown between the folks that like pitcher wins and the folks who don’t. It would make Trout/Cabrera look like tiddlywinks.
According to the official Twitter account of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the club has agreed to terms on a one-year major league contract with outfielder Rafael Ortega.
It’s worth the MLB minimum, which should be a little north of $507,000 in 2016.
Ortega was once considered a top prospect in the Rockies’ minor league system, but he has made only six total plate appearances at the big league level since signing out of Venezuela in 2008. The 24-year-old batted .286/.367/.378 with two home runs and 17 stolen bases in 131 games this past season for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.
He’ll be in the running for an Opening Day roster spot next spring in Angels camp.
Ben Zobrist will turn 35 years old early next summer, but that doesn’t seem to be putting too much of a dent in his free agent value.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the “sense among interested teams” is that Zobrist’s price is currently hovering around four years, $60 million and it “may go higher.”
There was a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Sunday stating that the Mets have made Zobrist their “No. 1” offseason target, and over a dozen other clubs have linked to him since the World Series ended. That’s the kind of attention you command when you can both hit — Zobrist posted an .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 2015 — and also cover a range of positions defensively.
He makes sense for just about any club looking to contend in the coming seasons.
Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Rockies late last month. Now, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, the 26-year-old former National League Rookie of the Year vote-getter has elected to become a free agent.
Rosario is a bad defensive catcher and wasn’t much better when the Rockies tried him at first base, but he should draw some interest from American League teams looking for a bench bat and part-time DH.
Rosario slugged 28 home runs for the Rockies in 2012 and he’s averaged 26 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career.
He boasts a .319/.356/.604 career batting line against left-handed pitching.
As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.
This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.
Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.
Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.