Yesterday Cole Hamels was quoted as saying that it was unfair that the Phillies had the early games in the division series:
“In being the defending world champs, I think it’s kind of a little weird that we kind of get both games at 2 o’clock. I don’t think it’s fair. I definitely don’t think it’s fair for the fans because this is all about home-field advantage or just baseball in general. I understand TV ratings, but I think, at the end of the day, most players would rather play when they’re both comfortable, and that’s kind of what we’re trained at, either 1 o’clock or 7 o’clock . . .”
He’s probably right that the Phillies, as champs, are deserving of better slotting, but is this about fairness, as Hamels said, or is it about the fact that, over the course of his career, Hamels is 10-13 with 4.66 ERA in day games vs. 38-21 with a 3.27 ERA at night?
Either way, given what Cliff Lee did yesterday — and given that the Phillies set a record for attendance (and it was a rowdy crowd to boot) — I’m guessing he’s going to just bite his tongue about this going forward. Beat the Rockies today, Cole, and you’re all but assured of nothin’ but night games.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.