So maybe Cole Hamels is available after all

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The Phillies have said for a couple of months that they weren’t putting Cole Hamels on the market. But then this got tweeted:

I’ve never truly believed it when teams say players are untouchable or that they are not having conversations about them. It’d be malpractice not to! That doesn’t mean they’re seriously considering a trade. Or that they disrespect the player. It’s just that there’s no use going through life with a hand tied behind your back. Talk to some GM about your “untouchable” player and you may find out that GM is dumb and will overpay. Or, at the very least, you get some intelligence about what’s going on in the marker place.

I bet someone will take issue with the Phillis for “making Hamels available” to whatever extent he is, in fact, available. But it’d be way dumber for Ruben Amaro to throw his cell phone in the toilet and not accept any calls at all.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.