John Maine leaves Rockies’ AAA team, considering retirement

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As reported by Jack Etikin of Inside the Rockies, right-hander John Maine has grown frustrated by his struggles this season at Triple-A Colorado Springs and is considering retiring from baseball.

Maine left Colorado Springs on Tuesday after allowing 10 hits and eight runs in four-plus innings Monday against the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate. He threw 95 pitches in the outing, and just 52 of them were strikes. The 30-year-old has registered a 7.43 ERA, 35 strikeouts and a whopping 37 walks in 46 frames this year at the Triple-A level.

He’s going to take some time off before deciding whether to actually call it quits or return to his post in the Rockies’ minor league system. Maine signed a minor league contract with Colorado this past offseason after finishing with a 6.13 ERA and 1.82 WHIP over nine starts in 2010 for the Mets. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder a little over one year ago and has been unable to fully recover.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.