Craig Calcaterra

Al Alburquerque

Al Alburquerque non-tendered by the Tigers


The Tigers bullpen has been a hot mess for years. At times one of the few somewhat reliable guys down there has been Al Alburquerque, but really only on occasion. And in some ways relievers are like parachutes: if they work most of the time, but fail some of the time, they really don’t make you feel too great.

And, to be honest, the Tigers would probably even settle for “most of the time” with Alburquerque as long as he was cheap. He’s arbitration-eligible, however, and he’ll probably get a raise heftier than the Tigers would prefer to pay. As such, the Tigers just non-tendered him.

Alburquerque made $1.725 million this past season while posting a 4.21 ERA and 58/33 K/BB ratio over 62 innings. Without an inflated arbitration award in the offing, he’ll likely get looks from many teams and won’t be unemployed for long.

Dodgers name Turner Ward their new hitting coach

Turner Ward Diamondbacks
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Buster Olney reports that the Dodgers have hired Turner Ward to be their new hitting coach.

Ward was the Dbacks’ hitting coach for three years but left last month after a disagreement over the contract the club tendered him for 2016. Some have reported that Ward was lowballed by the Dbacks on his renewal. Either way, if he had accepted it, he would’ve had to get permission from the club to interview elsewhere and Arizona would not likely grant permission to the rival Dodgers. So: good call for Ward.

The Diamondbacks ranked second in the NL in runs scored this year with hitters Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta all developing fantastically with Ward at the hitting helm.

The Padres have new uniforms, will be wearing the brown on Fridays

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There has been buzz about the San Diego Padres getting new uniforms lately. Yesterday the Padres ended it buy dropping the news: they are getting a uniform makeover.

Sort of a three-part makeover, actually, with (a) subtle additions of yellow and blue to the regular home uniforms; (b) the adoption of old-style brown uniforms with the yellow and brown caps for Friday home games; and (c) the switch to a Navy digital camouflage jersey for their home Sunday games and, presumably, a dropping of the old desert camo look.

Here are examples of them all:

I am long on record of preferring some update on the old brown/mustard variations of the past, so the Friday alternate is nice. Still, seems like a half-measure. They should go to it full-time. And, of course, it appears as though it’ll only be a solid alternate-style brown, not a classic white uniform with brown accents, which could’ve been amazing. Maybe it’s a baby step.

The yellow additions to the regular uniform may only last a year, as they are described as commemorating the 2016 All-Star Game, which takes place in San Diego. A one-year placeholder until they go full-brown in 2017? That’d be nice.

Finally, I get why they do camo all the time in San Diego, but I also think it’s a bad look for a baseball team. Both from an abstract aesthetic perspective and from the perspective of it being weird for athletes to, in a way, dress up like soldiers or sailors. I realize, though, that my complaining about is neither a popular position nor one that is going to make any difference.

Overall, though: eliminating the boring blue and white home uniform is a step in the right direction.