The Washington Nationals have announced minor-league deals with relief pitchers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers.
Nathan, who just turned 42, pitched ten games last year, totaling only six and a third innings, between the Giants and the Cubs. He missed the entire 2015 season except for one third of an inning on Opening Day. I suppose it’s possible he still has something left in the tank but I’d say his chances of making the roster are long.
Albers pitched in 58 games for the White Sox last year, buy boy howdy did he struggle. He posted a 6.31 ERA and an unsightly 1.675 WHIP and an unacceptable strikeout to walk ratio of 1.58. He pitched wonderfully in 30 games in 2015 however, and relievers are weird and unpredictable, so maybe he has a bounceback in him.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.
The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?
Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.
Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West
There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.
Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?
Our 2017 AL West Previews:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim