Trevor Cahill is on a serious skid

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The White Rabbit — fabbo nickname by the way, if it is indeed his nickname and not just his warm up music — is struggling. Big time. As Paul Gutierrez reports at CSN Bay Area, Cahill has gone 0-5 with a 5.67 ERA in his last seven starts.

Last night’s game was one of his worst. He walked seven guys, including Jeff Francoeur. Twice. That takes some doing.  He threw two wild pitches and after the game said that he had no idea where the ball is going.  He says it’s mechanical, and the fact that his control is so crazy as opposed to, say, his velocity, suggests that could be true. But man, I can’t recall the time such a good starter went sideways so totally and so unexpectedly like Cahill his without there being some physical problem.

Rays sign lefty Ryan Merritt to a minor league deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.

Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.

His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.

The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.