The Twins are in agreement on a minor league deal with right-hander Paul Clemens, reports SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). The Ballengee client was recently released by the Padres. While the 29-year-old won’t factor into Minnesota’s Opening Day roster plans, he can serve as a depth option for an unstable rotation and as a potential long man in the bullpen as well. [Related: Updated Minnesota Twins depth chart] Clemens split the 2016 campaign between the Marlins and Padres, logging 10 innings for the former and a considerably larger 61 1/3 inning for the latter. Clemens finished the year in the San Diego rotation and posted solid surface-level numbers down the stretch, recording a 3.67 earned run average in 16 appearances (12 of which were starts). A bit of a deeper look suggests that Clemens had some good fortune in posting that solid mark, though; his 6.9 K/9 rate, 3.4 BB/9 rate and 40.3 percent ground-ball rate were all worse than that of a league-average starter in 2016. ERA alternatives like FIP, xFIP and SIERA all pegged Clemens for a mark in the 4.80 to 5.00 range. In parts of three big league seasons, Clemens has a 4.89 ERA with 6.3 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9 in 169 1/3 innings between the Astros, Marlins and Padres
Bryce Harper homered in his first at-bat of the spring here at First Data Field, and it turns out that was only the start of what has been a tear through the Grapefruit League. He launched another pair of home runs in Monday afternoon’s 6-0 victory against the Mets, to bring his homer total to a Major League-leading eight in 52 at-bats during this exhibition season.
Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir will begin the season on the disabled list, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets. “It’s something with the hip,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told McCullough. Kazmir has dealt with hip tightness this spring, and his velocity was in the 82-84 MPH range less than two weeks ago. He pitched yesterday against Texas and struggled, allowing three runs, five walks and two hit batsmen over three innings. The Dodgers have two open spots in their rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill. Even with Kazmir on the shelf, there’s plenty of competition for those two spots — Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu and Alex Wood, all veterans with successful big-league seasons under their belts, are all in the running. Ryu has missed much of the past two seasons to injury, but has impressed observers in camp. Top young lefty Julio Urias appears set to begin the season in the minors as the Dodgers monitor his workload.
Yesterday, we heard word of extension talks between Francisco Lindor and the Indians that was broken by a unique source — Cleveland GM Mike Chernoff’s six-year-old son, Brody. Brody said during a game broadcast that his dad was “trying to get Lindor to play for seven more years.” But the young Chernoff had his facts wrong, according to Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes. “Brody overheard my phone call about Jose Ramirez finalizing a deal that could keep him here for seven years,” says Mike Chernoff. “It was pretty funny. You gotta love kids.” This weekend, of course, the Indians reportedly neared a five-year extension with Ramirez that included two club options. It appears Brody’s first scoop was a bust, although he’s got plenty of time to work on his craft — recent history shows that baseball rumor reporters don’t peak until at least age 13.
They demand your attention.
Here are the latest minor moves from around baseball, with the newest transactions at the top of the post… The Brewers have acquired catcher Tyler Heineman from the Astros, as per the Crew’s official Twitter feed. Houston receive cash or a player to be named later in return. Heineman, 25, was an eighth-round pick for the Astros in the 2012 draft and he has a .283/.361/.399 slash line over 1543 career minor league plate appearances. Heineman has been assigned to the Brewers’ minor league camp, and he looks slated to provide the Crew with some extra catching depth while Andrew Susac is on the DL with a trapezius issue. Manny Pina and Jett Bandy look to form Milwaukee’s catching corps on the Opening Day roster.
Opening Day is just a week away, and there are 12 Spring Training games that can be seen today on MLB.TV to get you into the swing of the season.
Chesny Young, Kris Bryant and Ian Happ all homered in the fifth inning on Saturday to spark the Cubs to an 11-7 victory over the Reds in a split-squad game at Cashman Field.
This week in baseball blogs: The Runner Sports asks whether Orioles third baseman Manny Machado or Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper would make for a better free agent target for the Yankees after the 2018 season. The Unbalanced explains why Team USA’s victory in the World Series Baseball Classic is a big deal. Baseball Hot Corner praises the WBC. Outside Pitch MLB delves into why the White Sox haven’t yet found a suitable return for on-the-block left-hander Jose Quintana. Big Three Sports believes “the bar is set extremely high” this year for Red Sox southpaw David Price. TwinsDaily.com analyzes the effect catcher Jason Castro’s pitch-framing skills could have on Minnesota’s hurlers. Sports Talk Philly eulogizes former major league pitcher, manager and general manager Dallas Green, who passed away Wednesday
It was on this day in 1910 that the Chalmers Auto Company announced that a new car would be awarded to the batting champions from the American and National League. This innocent promotion ended up leading to a memorable controversy, as Cleveland’s Nap Lajoie “won” the AL batting title after collecting eight hits in nine at-bats (under very dubious circumstances) during a season-ending double-header against the St. Louis Browns. Chalmers ended up awarding cars to both Lajoie and runner-up Ty Cobb in the wake of the embarrassing situation. Here’s some news from modern-day Cleveland baseball… There aren’t any extension talks going on between the Indians and Francisco Lindor, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (via Twitter). Cleveland isn’t necessarily in any rush since Lindor isn’t even eligible for arbitration for two more seasons, though the Tribe has historically looked to extend young talent when possible. Once Jose Ramirez’s extension is finalized, he’ll be the ninth member of the Tribe’s roster signed to a multi-year extension by the team. Lindor’s extension case will be particularly fascinating to watch given his status as one of the sport’s rising superstars