Author: Aaron Gleeman

Yordano Ventura

Royals line up rotation for ALDS: Ventura, Cueto, Volquez


Making official what manager Ned Yost talked about last week, the Royals announced their rotation for the ALDS versus the Wild Card game winner: Yordano Ventura, not Johnny Cueto, will get the Game 1 assignment against the Yankees or Astros, followed by Cueto in Game 2 and Edinson Volquez in Game 3.

It’s quite a turnaround for Ventura, who pitched his way out of the rotation and was briefly demoted to Triple-A, only to quickly return and go 7-1 with a 2.38 ERA in his final 11 starts.

When the Royals acquired Cueto from the Reds they did so with the intention of the impending free agent becoming their top-of-the-rotation ace, but he mostly struggled with a 4.76 ERA in 13 post-trade starts.

Volquez led the Royals with 200 innings, starting 33 games with a 3.55 ERA and 155/72 K/BB ratio while allowing just 16 homers in 850 plate appearances.

Rangers set ALDS rotation: Gallardo in Game 1, Hamels in Game 2

Yovani Gallardo

Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.

Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.

Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.

Ichiro Suzuki is re-signing with the Marlins for 2016

Ichiro Suzuki

Fresh off his season-ending pitching debut, Ichiro Suzuki has decided to re-sign with the Marlins for 2016.

Joe Frisaro of reports that an official announcement will be made later today,

Suzuki was one of the worst players in baseball this season, hitting .229 with one homer and a .561 OPS in 153 games as a semi-regular for the Marlins at age 41. He hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2010, hitting a combined .268 with a .304 on-base percentage and .342 slugging percentage in 769 games during the past five seasons.

He’s also just 65 hits short of reaching 3,000 for his MLB career and presumably the Marlins like being involved in that upcoming milestone and having the well-liked future Hall of Famer in the clubhouse to keep him around in what will no doubt be a lesser role.