Colorado is interested in signing free agent Ramon Hernandez and might be willing to trade incumbent catcher Chris Iannetta to make room for him behind the plate, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Iannetta’s stock has dropped considerably in the past couple seasons, so it’s not surprising that the Rockies are willing to part with the 27-year-old. Rosenthal reports that the Angels are among the teams interested in Iannetta and he’d certainly be an upgrade over Jeff Mathis, but so would prospect Hank Conger.
Hernandez is coming off one of his best years at age 35, hitting .282 with a .787 OPS in 91 games for the Reds. He hasn’t been particularly durable, but Hernandez has topped a .700 OPS in eight of the past nine years and gunned down 36 percent of steal attempts since 2009.
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.