Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Carl Crawford’s agents are sending iPads with pro-Crawford videos, preloaded, all the better to covet their client with. A couple of thoughts:
1. If there’s a team that can’t adequately assess Carl Crawford’s abilities without the aid of a pre-loaded iPad, they’re so dim that Crawford’s agents should have saved the $500 and just sent the magic beans; and
2. I hope that Crawford’s people also pre-loaded the NBC Sports Talk app, so that the teams can stay up-to-the-minute on all of the news and rumors we dish out here at HardballTalk, thereby keeping them one step ahead of the competition! Versions for the iPhone and Droid should be coming soon too!
(Too subtle? No? Good. I didn’t want my covert promotional item to be lost in nuance)
Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.
After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.
Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.
Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.