Rockies demoting Opening Day catcher Chris Iannetta to Triple-A

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To make room on the roster for all their pitcher shuffling the Rockies are reportedly demoting Opening Day catcher Chris Iannetta to Triple-A.
Iannetta is off to a 4-for-30 (.133) start, but it sure seems odd to demote a 27-year-old veteran of 293 career games to Triple-A based on 30 bad at-bats after handing him an $8.3 million contract this offseason and starting him on Opening Day. The notion that Iannetta has anything left to learn or prove in the minors is fairly absurd.
Iannetta has gone through big slumps before, but has posted an OPS above .800 in back-to-back seasons as the Rockies’ primary catcher and has a career mark of .799 in 1,118 plate appearances. By comparison Miguel Olivo has a career OPS of .707 and has topped .730 just once in nine seasons, but has leap-frogged Iannetta on the depth chart based on a dozen strong games.
Some very short-sighted thinking by the Rockies, because if Iannetta warranted an $8.3 million deal this offseason and a start on Opening Day he certainly deserves more than eight games to get on track before sending him back to the minors at age 27. Since his debut in 2006 only six catchers have a higher OPS than Iannetta: Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada, Brian McCann, Mike Napoli, Victor Martinez, Geovany Soto.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.