Great Moments in Strategy: Jim Tracy

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Rockies’ manager Jim Tracy is sneaky:

Fifth starter Jason Hammel will pitch in
the team’s Cactus League opener Thursday, facing the Diamondbacks.
Opening-day starter Ubaldo Jimenez will make his first start Friday
against the Angels rather than pitch against the Giants that same day.

“That is by design,” Tracy said, not wanting to give San Francisco any unnecessary looks at his ace.

Given that (a) in his career, Ubaldo Jimenez has pitched more innings against the Giants than any other team; and (b) the Giants probably spring for the Extra Innings package, I’m guessing they’ll survive without seeing him pitch some meaningless early March game in Tucson.

Dodgers, Reds discussing a Yasiel Puig trade

Yasiel Puig
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Here’s a rumor from yesterday afternoon that sort of fell through the cracks, but it’s fun enough to think about for a few moments: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers and Reds have had “multiple” trade discussions involving Yasiel Puig.

Puig is a potential trade candidate, either (a) because he’s “disgruntled,” according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times last week; or (b) because the Dodgers want to clear salary and roster spots in order to sign a big-name player, according to Rosenthal here. Many people suspect that the Dodgers are going to make a run at Bryce Harper, for example, and if that’s the case they’d no doubt want to open up right field for him.

It seems questionable that any Reds-Dodgers talks would get a ton of traction, especially given that Rosenthal reports that there’s a possibility of the Dodgers taking on Reds pitcher Homer Bailey and the $28 million he’s still owed in order to get some talent back from the Reds in a trade. That would seem to defeat the purpose of unloading Puig’s salary, but this is the sort of things we all talk about now given that the league has, more or less, a defacto salary cap imposed by the Competitive Balance Tax.