Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Miguel Cabrera to start at third base tonight

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This is fun. Or, if you’re a certain type of Tigers fan, scary. Either way, Miguel Cabrera is making his first start at third base since August 12, 2014 in tonight’s game against the Nationals.

The point is to get Nick Castellanos some rest. An odd time for it given that he’s swinging a hot bat, but a move which makes some sort of sense given that they’re playing without the DH and that puts Victor Martinez at first base.

Still, when the opponent is Max Scherzer, you do what you can do to max out your lineup and Brad Ausmus thinks that having Cabrera and Martinez in the lineup at the same time is the way to max it out. Against Max.

Here’s why Anthony Gose wasn’t out on that wide slide last night

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In the top of the sixth inning of last night’s Tigers-Nationals game Anthony Gose slid toward Danny Espinosa in an attempt to break up a double play. Espinosa’s throw to first was late and, as a result, a run scored. Gose never touched second base or even attempted to grab it with an outstretched arm.

The slide was reviewed and Gose was held not to have violated the rule, despite the fact that he didn’t, by any conceivable measure, make a “bona fide slide” as the rule requires. Why? Chris Iott of MLive spoke to an MLB official and this is what he was told:

“Even though the judgment was that runner failed to engage in a bona fide slide, the Replay Official must still find that the runner’s actions hindered and impeded the fielder’s ability to complete a double play. In the absence of the hindering/impeding element — which is a judgment call — the runner cannot be found to have violated 6.01 (j). The judgment on this one was that there was no hindering or impeding of the fielder.”

The “hindering/impeding” part is not in the new slide rule. It would appear that it’s an interpretive gloss placed on the rule by officials after the fact. Which is interesting because the whole point of the new rule seemed to be aimed at taking away any sort of subjective judgment and trying hard to make a “slide” an easily defined thing. Which was dumb, but that’s what it set out to do.

Here’s hoping judgment, rather than blind adherence to a rule and an effort to make that which requires some subjectivity into something purely objective, is allowed to come to to fore more often.

Braves trade Jhoulys Chacin to the Angels

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Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports the Braves are trading starter Jhoulys Chacin to the Angels.

Chacin has a 5.40 ERA and 27/8 K/BB ratio in 26 and two-thirds innings over five starts this season for Atlanta, though that’s skewed a bit by his last start against the Mets. For his career he’s 41-51 with a respectable 3.82 ERA and a K/BB ration of 562/298 in 134 games, 118 of which were starts.

The Angels, of course, are in deep doo-doo starting pitching-wise, what with the loss of Garrett Richards to Tommy John surgery and the indefinite absence of Andrew Heaney due to ligament issues of his own.

O’Brien does not yet have word of what the Braves are getting in return. The Angels system is largely bereft of prospects, but Chacin is not exactly someone for whom one can expect a huge haul in return.

UPDATE: Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register reports that the Angels are sending lefty Adam McCreery to Atlanta. He’s a 22 and was a 22nd round pick in 2014. He has only pitched in rookie ball, where he has a 3.55 ERA in 31 relief appearances.