The Rockies have lost five games in a row and nine of their last ten, which prompted manager Walt Weiss to call a team meeting earlier today. The details, via Troy Renck:
He challenged the players to compete and play hard. He’s not one to criticize players through the media or call guys out. He wants them to take ownership as he certainly did as a player.
Weiss was direct in his responses to the media, looking straight ahead. He’s had enough of the streak.
The Rockies responded by jumping on Pirates starter Francisco Liriano, who entered the night with a 2.02 ERA. They scored four in the first inning five in the second, and one in the third. Liriano left after recording just seven outs, surrendering 12 hits and two walks while striking out only one batter. The ten runs allowed pushed his ERA all the way up to 2.83.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.