Red Sox “discussing a possible deal” with Dan Wheeler

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After losing out on several of their reported top bullpen targets the Red Sox “are discussing a possible deal” with Dan Wheeler, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Keeping the ball in the ballpark has been Wheeler’s weakness, with 28 homers allowed in 172 innings over the past three seasons, but he still managed ERAs of 3.12, 3.28, and 3.35 in that time thanks to a 144/47 K/BB ratio.

That includes a 46/16 K/BB ratio and .207 opponents’ batting average in 48 innings this year, which made it surprising that the Rays declined to exercise their $4 million option on the 32-year-old right-hander and then declined to offer the Type A free agent arbitration. He has a 3.31 ERA in 392 innings since 2005, including a sub-3.50 mark in five of six seasons.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.