We’ll know who the All-Star Game starting pitchers are, at the latest, early this afternoon when the managers meet the press. But there is some suggestion that Mike Matheny may call his own guy’s number and have Adam Wainwright make the start.
Rick Hummel reports that Matheny and Wainwright are both saying things which suggest that Wainwright is ready to go. He pitched on Saturday, is feeling good, Tuesday is the day he’d throw a side session, etc. He also suggests that Matheny has already made his decision and told Wainwright about it even if it isn’t public and that Wainwright offered a coy smile about it.
Of course, Clayton Kershaw is the better pitcher and he hasn’t pitched since Thursday. So perhaps there is still time for Matheny to change his mind and make, you know, the better choice.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.