Randy Wolf calls it a career, retiring after 16 seasons

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After 16 seasons in the majors for eight different teams Randy Wolf has decided to call it a career, with Jon Heyman of MLB Network reporting that the 39-year-old left-hander told an interested team he’s retired.

Wolf returned from Tommy John elbow surgery last season and made it back to the majors after spending most of the year at Triple-A. Once there he got knocked around, going 0-5 with a 6.23 ERA in 35 innings for the Tigers. He last posted an ERA under 5.00 in 2011, so it was time.

Because of injuries Wolf had to make several comebacks throughout his career, but he had a good early run with the Phillies and then a good later run with the Dodgers and Brewers. Overall he started 379 games, logged 2,328 innings, and posted a 4.24 ERA with a 133-125 record. He made one All-Star team in 2003, topped 200 innings six times, and earned nearly $70 million.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.