The Rangers trade for Indians minor leaguer Kelvin De La Cruz

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This isn’t a big trade, but not a lot else is going on:  The Rangers acquired lefty Kelvin De La Cruz from the Indians for cash considerations.

De La Cruz is 23 years-old. He has started all but 12 of his 105 minor league games in the Indians’ system.  He strikes out a fair number of guys but walked six men per nine innings last year in Double-A.

As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News points out, however, he has been pretty tough on lefties, so he may have a future as a lefty bullpen specialist, so maybe we’ll see him pop up in the Rangers’ bullpen at some point.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.