The Orioles spoke with the Cubs about Alfonso Soriano for some reason

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Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Orioles have spoken to the Cubs about a potential trade involving Alfonso Soriano. Based on various other reports in the past few days suggesting that Soriano isn’t going anywhere, it’s quite possible that this refers to past talks that similarly went nowhere. But it is fun, if for no other reason, than it gives Orioles fans something to smack their heads about.

I mean, Soriano, if he was going to Baltimore, would basically be this year’s version of Vlad Guerrero. A once-great name providing league-average-at-best hitting in a position (DH) that calls for better-than-league-average hitting. That doesn’t get the O’s anywhere.

Soriano is probably staying in Chicago. And in light of this morning’s news, that’s not the worst news facing Cubs fans today.

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.