Tire-kicking alert! The Twins and Matt Garza

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Fact: back in the 19th century all “tire-kicking” tweets about baseball free agents were about looking at horse’s teeth:

 

Haha, just kidding. Free agency didn’t exist until the 1970s.

Anyway, Garza was reported as being interested in the Twins back in November. He started out there, of course. And after time in hitter-friendly parks in Chicago and Texas, you have to figure Garza — who posted a 3.82 ERA in 155.1 innings over 24 starts last year — wouldn’t mind some time in Target Field.

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.