The Dodgers have a Cy Young Award winner in their rotation, but they’re looking to round it out with some more moderate talent. Specifically, as Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports, they are wanting to sign either (a) Hiroki Kuroda; Aaron Harang; Chris Capuano; or Jeff Francis.
None of them — with the arguable exception of Kuroda — are near the top tier of available pitching at the moment. But that’s kind of what the Dodgers have to look at, considering that they don’t have a ton to spend at the moment.
Funny thing about pitching in the offseason, though, is that a guy who last September looked like hamburger looks way more like steak over the winter. Even the guys who aren’t top-tier get snapped up just like everyone else, so there will be competition for all of these arms.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.