Ricky Nolasco signed a four-year, $49 million contract with the Twins and performed horribly for three months before revealing that he’d been pitching through an elbow injury since spring training.
He ended up going 6-12 with a 5.38 ERA in 159 innings while allowing opponents to hit .316. And then late last night, he had this Twitter exchange with a Dodgers fan:
In fairness, Nolasco is from California and the Dodgers are going to the playoffs while the Twins lost 90-plus games for the fourth consecutive season, but still. When you pitched terribly while hiding an injury in the first season of a big contract you chose to sign and play in a state that has a bit of an inferiority complex at times anyway perhaps keep the “wish I wasn’t here” thoughts private. Or at least leave out the multiple exclamation points.
Also, if the Dodgers want the rest of Nolasco’s contract the Twins would surely be happy to give it to them.
UPDATE: Nolasco deleted the tweet, about nine hours later.
Reported first by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Twins have fired manager Ron Gardenhire after 13 seasons on the job.
Gardenhire replaced Tom Kelly in 2002 and had immediate success, winning six division titles in nine seasons. However, those teams went 6-21 in the playoffs. And now the Twins have lost 90 or more games in four consecutive seasons and only the Astros have fewer total wins since 2011.
Only two managers in the history of baseball have avoided being fired following four straight 90-loss seasons. One is Connie Mack, who literally owned the team. And the other is Kelly, who won a pair of World Series titles in Minnesota. Gardenhire will not be the third.
Here’s an interesting little tidbit from the Diamondbacks firing manager Kirk Gibson: Team president Derrick Hall asked chief baseball officer (and Hall of Fame manager) Tony La Russa to manage the team for the final weekend of the season and he said no thanks.
Or, more specifically, La Russa said (via Steve Gilbert of MLB.com): “You’ve seen my entire deck. You’ve seen the last of it.”
Presumably that means the 69-year-old La Russa isn’t a candidate to replace Gibson as the full-time manager, even if Hall and the Diamondbacks beg him.
Bench coach Alan Trammell, who was technically fired along with Gibson, will stay on the job to manage the final three games of the season before stepping down.
Having already juggled their rotation to get Jered Weaver ready to start Game 1 of the ALDS the Angels have now shifted things again so that C.J. Wilson will be in line to start Game 2.
That’s not a surprise, as the Angels’ other healthy rotation options are pretty lacking, but Wilson has been a mess for much of the season on the way to posting a 4.61 ERA compared to a 3.37 ERA in his first four years as a starter.
He threw seven shutout, one-hit innings against the Mariners on September 17, but then followed that up by failing to make it out of the first inning Monday against the A’s. Overall in his last 15 starts Wilson has a 6.43 ERA.
They have the best record in baseball at 98-61, but the Angels’ rotation is definitely a question mark heading into the playoffs.
After initially keeping his injury a secret the Mets revealed that rookie catcher Travis d’Arnaud was dealing with an elbow problem and now they’ve announced that he’ll undergo surgery to remove a bone spur.
He finished the season hitting .242 with 13 homers and a .718 OPS in 108 games, which is solidly above-average production for a catcher. Even more impressive, d’Arnaud hit .272 with 10 homers and an .805 OPS in 69 games following a brief mid-season demotion to Triple-A.
Between his strong second half and outstanding minor-league track record the Mets should feel pretty good about d’Arnaud, assuming he recovers fully from the relatively routine surgery.