The Padres are set to re-sign right-handed reliever Craig Stammen to a two-year, $4.5 million contract, per reports from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal includes incentives of $100,000 for every fifth appearance he makes, from his 20th game until his 50th, and $150,000 for both his 55th and 56th appearances (via Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports). The team has yet to announce the signing.
In 2017, Stammen made a triumphant return to the majors after missing nearly two years with two torn flexor tendons in his right forearm. Armed with a working forearm and a newly-tweaked changeup, the 33-year-old delivered a 3.14 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 in 80 1/3 innings, proving himself more than capable of replicating the results that made him so valuable to the Nationals during his peak season in 2013.
Those results — including a sub-3.00 ERA and 1.0+ fWAR — are exactly what the Padres hope to get out of the veteran righty in 2018. While there’s no guarantee that Stammen’s injury woes are fully behind him, it’s safe to say that he appears to have made a full recovery after avoiding the disabled list for the entirety of 2017.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.