Tag: Yovani Gallardo

Red Sox

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Braves 4, Red Sox 2: Seven straight losses for the Red Sox, but hey, no one really expects you to win when Williams Perez is on the mound for the other team. “What’s the deal with that ‘s’ at the end of his first name?” the opposing hitters say, fearfully. “How can we possibly hit against a guy whose parents are so dismissive of generally-accepted naming conventions?” After the game Pablo Sandoval actually said this:

“We’re fighting. We’re not giving at-bats away . . . We’ve got a good team.”

All evidence points to the contrary.

Orioles 4, Phillies 0: Wei-Yin Chen was great, striking out nine in eight shutout innings. As the season has gone on, game stories from Phillies losses have made them sound more and more like some sort of service provider, traveling the country and helping pitchers who have lost their confidence to find it again. It’s almost noble. It’s like they’re saying “hey, we’re technically major league hitters. Dominate us for a while. Remember what that feels like. It feels good, doesn’t it? We’re happy to help. No go out there and be the best pitcher you can be! Oh, no. We will accept no payment. Helping you was payment enough.”

Pirates 11, White Sox 0: Francisco Liriano was fantastic, going eight innings allowing only two hits and fanning 12. People don’t say “fanning” enough for strikeouts. I feel like they used to say that a lot more than they do now. Sort of how like people used to write “Chisox” for the White Sox and “Bosox” for the Red Sox. I blame it all on unrestrained speculation and shorting going on at the increasingly unregulated New York Word Exchange. Bernie Sanders will straighten them out if we just give him the chance, man.

Tigers 6, Reds 0: Anibal Sanchez with a two-hit shutout and J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera each with a couple driven in. Sanchez has now had two good starts after a couple of months of bad ones. And the Tigers have won six of eight. Scary moment in this one when Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart was on deck and Eugenio Suarez fouled a pitch back and hit him. Barnhart was unhurt, but I have always wondered when, not if, someone on deck was going to get smacked with a foul ball. Shocked we haven’t had more incidents like that.

Mets 4, Blue Jays 3: New York was down 3-2 in the 11th when the Mets rallied. Wilmer Flores had the walkoff hit which ended the Blue Jays’ 11-game winning streak. The Mets are now 35-30 on the season, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Nationals for first place in the National League East. Because . . .

Rays 6, Nationals 1: Erasmo Ramirez was shut out Washington for six innings and the Rays kept scratching out runs. Weird thing: Steven Souza walked five times but was stranded all five times. Tampa Bay won for the 12th time in 16 games to take a one-game lead in the AL East. Because . . .

Marlins 2, Yankees 1: Tom Koehler outdueled Masahiro Tanaka. Kohler allowed a Mark Teixeira homer, but that was it. Fun thing: A-Rod didn’t start due to there being no DH, but he came on to pinch hit in the ninth inning and got a huge ovation from his hometown Miami fans. I feel like the last time he got cheered on the road happened during the Clinton Administration. Oh well, just make him a player-manager, Jeff Loria. You know it’s a great idea.

Rangers 4, Dodgers 1: Rougned Odor had three hits, including a two-run single in his first game back after an over month-long demotion to the minors. Yovani Gallardo frustrated Dodgers hitters. How frustrated?

Royals 8, Brewers 5: The Royals were cruising and then put lights-out closer Greg Holland in the game despite having a six-run lead. He needed the work, you see. But he couldn’t close it out, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk. His ERA went from 1.76 to 3.52. The Royals still won, but this will sadly give fuel to the fire of people who insist on claiming that “save situations” are somehow different and more special and more magical than non-save situations and that a special breed of pitcher approaches them in a special sort of way and, my god, I hate that crap.

Astros 6, Rockies 3: Two homers for George Springer to go along with a couple of diving catches in the outfield. Colby Rasmus added a three-run homer. Carlos Correa had three hits.

Cardinals 3, Twins 2: John Lackey allowed two runs on five hits over eight innings and Mark Reynolds and Yadier Molina homered. Random from the AP game story: “Lackey said he missed Reynolds homer live because he was ‘in the bathroom.'” Good to know.

Diamondbacks 7, Angels 3: Robbie Ray allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings. No hits until after the fifth inning. The AP says that’s the third time in four days that a Dbacks starter held an opponent hitless through the first five innings. Luminaries all of them: Ray, Chase Anderson and Allen Webster.

Athletics 9, Padres 1: Stephen Vogt hit a grand slam and Jesse Hahn allowed only one run while pitching into the seventh, spoiling Dave Roberts’ managerial debut. Vogt had two other hits as well. He was 0-for-his-last-15 coming into the game.

Mariners 5, Giants 1: Kyle Seager hit a solo shot and Taijuan Walker struck out six in seven innings What an up-and-down season for San Francisco. The Giants have lost five in a row and nine straight at home.

Indians vs. Cubs: POSTPONED: See the sky about to rain,
broken clouds and rain.
Locomotive, pull the train,
whistle blowing
through my brain.
Signals curling on an open plain,
rolling down the track again.
See the sky about to rain.

Brewers shortstop Jean Segura is out with a fractured finger

Jean Segura AP

Milwaukee figures to be without shortstop Jean Segura for a while, placing him on the disabled list with a fractured pinkie finger on his throwing hand.

Segura was off to a slow start, hitting .262 with two homers and a .679 OPS in 33 games, although that actually represents a step up from his poor production last season.

Light-hitting journeyman Hector Gomez was the in-house option to replace Segura at shortstop, so the Brewers have called up 21-year-old prospect Luis Sardinas to fill in the position. He was acquired from the Rangers this offseason in the Yovani Gallardo trade and has some long-term upside, but Sardinas doesn’t appear to be ready for the majors after posting a sub-.700 OPS at Triple-A.

Report: Johnny Cueto seeking $200 million “or thereabouts”

Johnny Cueto

The Reds and starter Johnny Cueto didn’t reach an agreement on a contract extension before the right-hander’s Opening Day deadline. In fact, the Reds were so sure they wouldn’t be able to strike a deal, they didn’t appear to have even submitted an offer to Cueto, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. Per Heyman, Cueto is reportedly seeking a $200 million contract “or thereabouts”.

Cueto, 29, is coming off of the best season of his career, finishing second in NL Cy Young balloting to Clayton Kershaw. He posted a 2.25 ERA and a 242/65 K/BB ratio in 243 2/3 innings. Cueto has finished with an ERA below 2.85 in each of the last three seasons (min. 20 starts).

Given the recent contracts signed by Max Scherzer ($210 million over seven years) and Jon Lester ($155 million over six years), it’s understandable why Cueto is holding out for a big payday. However, he’ll be joining a very crowded market for free agent starting pitchers this off-season. Barring new extensions, he’ll be joined by Doug Fister, Yovani Gallardo, Scott Kazmir, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, David Price, Jeff Samardzija, Jordan Zimmermann, and potentially Zack Greinke if he opts out of his contract with the Dodgers. The saturation of the starting pitching market could take a year or two and quite a few million off of Cueto’s final price.

The Reds should be expected to shop Cueto heavily leading up to the July 31 trade deadline.

Rangers sign Wandy Rodriguez to a minor league contract

Wandy Rodriguez
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After being released by the Braves last week, veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has agreed to a minor league contract with the Rangers.

Rodriguez had a fine showing as a non-roster player with Atlanta this spring and appeared to have a rotation spot locked down at one point. However, the Braves traded for Trevor Cahill last week and opted to go with Eric Stults over Rodriguez for the fifth starter job.

Rodriguez is now 36 and has struggled to stay healthy over the past three years, but he could get an opportunity with the big club if he gets off to a good start with Triple-A Round Rock. With Yu Darvish sidelined, the Rangers are set to go with Yovani Gallardo, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, and Nick Martinez in their starting rotation.

2015 Preview: Texas Rangers

Jeff Banister

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Texas Rangers.

The Big Question: Will this get worse before it gets better?

After five consecutive winning seasons, including back-to-back trips to the World Series, the Rangers’ run of success came to screeching halt last season as injuries decimated the roster. Texas players combined to spend 2,116 days on the disabled list, which is the highest total by any team since DL data started being tracked in 2002. And just one other team during that time, the Diamondbacks in 2004, was above 2,000 days lost.

It was a horror show and not surprisingly the Rangers fell from 91-72 in 2013 to an AL-worst 67-95. Ron Washington stepped down after eight seasons as manager and the Rangers fired interim manager Tim Bogar despite his success down the stretch, giving the job to Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister. When a consistent contender suffers a ridiculous number of injuries and loses 95 games the easy assumption is that they’ll bounce back in a huge way the next season. Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely for the Rangers.

They couldn’t even get out of spring training unscathed by the injury bug, as ace Yu Darvish was lost for the season before it began with Tommy John elbow surgery and former stud prospect Jurickson Profar was ruled out for a second straight season with shoulder problems. Left-hander Martin Perez isn’t unexpected back from Tommy John surgery until midseason and left-hander Matt Harrison is a question mark after spinal fusion surgery. It’s safe to assume the Rangers won’t have another 2,000-plus days of DL time, because it’s safe to assume that about any team, but this is hardly a healthy bunch and losing Darvish is a massive blow.

The good news on the health front is that Prince Fielder looks recovered from the neck injury that ended his season in May and Shin-Soo Choo is one season removed from being good enough that the Rangers gave him $130 million, so if they can get back on track and should-be Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre can continue to hold off father time at age 36 the middle of the lineup can definitely do some damage. Their supporting cast (Ryan Rua, Robinson Chirinos, Elvis Andrus, Mitch Moreland) looks iffy in a lot of spots, though, especially without the promise of Profar emerging as a building block player.

As for the Darvish-less pitching staff … well, FanGraphs projects the Rangers to allow more runs than every MLB team but the Rockies this season and Baseball Prospectus is only slightly less pessimistic in projecting they’ll rank 24th in runs allowed. Derek Holland was injured for most of last season and offseason trade pickup Yovani Gallardo has seen his strikeout rate plummet–and they’re the two best bets in a rotation that’s also home to Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, and Nick Tepesch. And the bullpen is relying an awful lot on a post-surgery Neftali Feliz returning to form.

What else is going on?

  • Allow me to double-back on the “should-be Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre” thing. Most people may not think of him as bound for Cooperstown, but Beltre is a four-time Gold Glove-winning third baseman with a .285 career batting average, 395 homers, and 2,604 hits. And he’s still an elite player, batting .324 with an .879 OPS last season to put 450 homers and 3,000 hits within reach. Among all third basemen in MLB history Beltre ranks seventh in Wins Above Replacement, behind only Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Chipper Jones, and Brooks Robinson. All of those guys are in the Hall of Fame or will be very soon. As if the third baseman one spot behind Adrian in eighth place, Ron Santo. Adrian Beltre should be a Hall of Famer.
  • Profar was the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball two years ago, so having to wait until 2016 to see what remains of his upside is sad. Texas still has a really good, really young middle infielder with tons of upside in Rougned Odor, who debuted last season at age 20 and held his own with a .700 OPS in 114 games as the youngest regular in the entire league. Odor’s approach at the plate is very raw and his K/BB ratios aren’t pretty, but he was one of just eight 20-year-old middle infielders in MLB history to play 100-plus games and post an adjusted OPS+ of at least 95. The last four to do so? Starlin Castro in 2010, Alex Rodriguez in 1996, Roberto Alomar in 1988, and Bill Mazeroski in 1957.
  • Gallardo was a really good, durable, and generally underrated starter for the Brewers, but his annual strikeout rate has dipped from 9.0 to 7.2 to 6.8 and his average fastball now clocks in at 91 miles per hour. He induces enough ground balls to avoid being totally wrecked by calling the Rangers’ power-inflating ballpark home, but switching from the NL to the AL may shine a light on the 29-year-old impending free agent’s deteriorating skills.
  • Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, Choo is owed $20 million per season through 2020, and Andrus is owed $15 million per season through 2022. Those are the three players around which general manager Jon Daniels has decided to build and if they don’t start making good on those long-term investments it’s going to be extremely difficult to turn things around quickly.

Prediction: Fewer disabled list stints and slightly fewer losses, but another last-place finish in the AL West.