Manny Corpas, who began his career as a rookie closer on the NL-winning Rockies before struggling with injuries, has returned to Colorado on a minor-league contract.
Corpas spent last season with the Cubs, posting a 5.01 ERA and 28/16 K/BB ratio in 47 innings at age 29 after missing all of 2011 following Tommy John elbow surgery.
He took over as the Rockies’ closer in mid-2007, saving 19 games with a 2.08 ERA as a 24-year-old, but since then Corpas has thrown 222 innings with a 4.86 ERA and just 6.0 strikeouts per nine frames. He’ll compete for a low-leverage bullpen gig.
Trotting out a lineup that included just one regular, the Reds beat the Cubs 5-3 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field and become the first team this year to clinch a playoff berth.
The Reds got Johnny Cueto his 18th victory despite fielding a lineup that included Miguel Cairo at first base and second baseman Henry Rodriguez hitting third in his first career start. Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey were in there as well, but catcher Ryan Hanigan was today’s only starter who can be safely penciled into the lineup for Game 1 of the NLDS.
The team was also missing its manager, as Dusty Baker remained hospitalized after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
Cincinnati’s ‘B’ lineup was shutout by Jason Berken for six innings, but it busted out for five runs off Manny Corpas in the top of the seventh. That earned Cueto the win, even though he had been removed for a pinch-hitter. Coming off three straight losses, Cueto was better today, though not dominant. He allowed five hits, walked four and struck out just two.
With two starts left, Cueto still has a chance at 20 wins for the season. He’ll have an even better chance if Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips are in the lineup next time he pitches.
The scene: Nationals Park, during the fifth inning of the last night’s Cubs-Nats game, Nats up 7-2. The incident: Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk is jawing from the dugout — after he was ejected umpire Jerry Layne referred to it as “screaming out obscenities,” and Nats third-base coach Bo Porter jawed right back at him. The reason, according to Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger:
“You’re up 7-2, Lendy Castillo’s pitching, it’s 3-0. You don’t swing in that situation”
This referring to Jayson Werth swinging at a 3-0 pitch just prior. Also agitating the Cubs was the fact that the Nats stole two bases that inning.
The next inning, things got chippier, when Castillo threw at Bryce Harper. Benches cleared. While everyone later said the requisite “he didn’t mean to do that” stuff, Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com observes that Clevenger didn’t move an inch to catch the ball that Harper had to jump out of the way to avoid, so he knew where that pitch was headed. And then he was in the middle of the scrum that developed. Quirk was ejected, as was Clevenger and Cubs reliever Manny Corpas.
The overall assessment: total amateur hour by the Cubs. Maybe it’s wrong for 12 year-olds to run up the score on one another, but this is the big leagues. Guys are going to steal bases and swing on 3-0. They won’t stop trying just because you’re getting your asses kicked all over the park. Don’t like your asses getting kicked all over the park? Play better.
White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza and Cubs reliever Manny Corpas are off-field friends, but that didn’t stop them from creating some drama in the Chicago interleague series yesterday.
With the White Sox up 7-0 in the eighth inning Corpas came into the game and plunked De Aza on the leg with his first pitch, presumably because Alex Rios attempted a stolen base up 6-0 in the previous inning. Or something.
Whatever the case, De Aza said afterward that he thinks it was intentional:
I don’t know, but the way he threw that ball, I think it was on purpose. I did face him before. Actually, me and that pitcher, we’re cool, we’re friends. I’ve known him for a long time. I think they just told him to hit the first guy.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum predictably downplayed the topic when asked, saying: “I don’t know. He hit him. It happens sometimes.”
Yes, “sometimes” like when a manager tells a pitcher to hit a batter in a blowout.
Manny Corpas was the closer on a World Series team as a 24-year-old in 2007, tossing 78 innings with 2.08 ERA, but he struggled this season for the third straight year before undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in September and today the Rockies released him.
Corpas still has one season and $3.5 million remaining on the long-term contract he signed in February of 2008, and the Rockies must also pay him $750,000 worth of buyouts for 2012 and 2013 team options that would have been worth $14 million.
He’s still just 28 years old and didn’t pitch quite as bad as his bloated ERAs looked prior to going under the knife, but at best Corpas will be ready to pitch again in September and the Rockies decided to simply eat the rest of his contract to clear a spot on the 40-man roster in the meantime.