Hank Conger’s throwing problems may cost him Angels’ job

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Hank Conger is a former first-round pick and a pretty good prospect who appeared in line to serve as the Angels’ backup catcher this season at age 25, but instead his throwing problems have the team looking for alternatives behind the plate.

Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times notes that Conger is 0-for-6 throwing out runners and has committed four throwing errors this spring, which has unfortunately overshadowed his hitting .417.

Conger has thrown out 30 percent of steal attempts in 202 career games at Triple-A, but has also committed 24 errors.

Ramon Hernandez of the Rockies is a name Baxter cited as someone who could be on the Angels’ radar, but this morning they signed Nationals castoff Chris Snyder to a minor-league deal.

Jesus Luzardo beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Pitcher Jesus Luzardo became the second player in two days to beat the Miami Marlins in salary arbitration and was awarded $2.45 million.

Miami had argued for $2.1 million during a hearing Thursday before a panel of John Stout, Melinda Gordon and Richard Bloch.

AL batting champion Luis Arraez, an All-Star infielder acquired by the Marlins from Minnesota last month, was awarded a $6.1 million salary on Thursday rather than the team’s $5 million figure.

Luzardo, a 25-year-old left-hander, was 4-7 with a 3.32 ERA in 18 starts last year, striking out 120 and walking 35 in 100 1/3 innings. He is 13-18 with a 3.59 ERA in 45 starts and 16 relief appearances over four big league seasons.

Luzardo made $715,000 last season and was eligible for arbitration for the first time. He can become a free agent after the 2026 season.

Players have won two of three decisions this year, with about 20 more scheduled for hearings.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first decision this year on Wednesday, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday.