With his fourth multihit game of spring, Dexter Fowler keyed the Cardinals’ 6-2 win over the Nationals in St. Louis’ Grapefruit League finale on Wednesday. The Cardinals finished 7-0-1 against Washington this spring and won 20 games in Grapefruit League play for the first time since 1997.
In this Opening Day lead-up, let’s talk about lineups. Following Tuesday’s ranking of the top five rotations in the game at the start of 2017, we move on now to the offensive outlooks.
Today’s spring slate features a slew of starting pitchers making their final tuneups before Opening Day starts, including Dallas Keuchel, Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez, Chris Archer, Corey Kluber, Junior Guerra, Edinson Volquez and Masahiro Tanaka.
Alejandro De Aza is expected to exercise the opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the A’s on Monday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. De Aza is the second notable A’s veteran to opt out in as many days, after Ross Detwiler used his clause earlier today. De Aza signed his deal with Oakland in January and would’ve earned $1.25MM if he had cracked the roster. Instead, it looks like the A’s will go with Mark Canha and Jaff Decker as their primary backup outfielders, though Slusser notes that Dacker could be on the outs if the Athletics decide on an eighth reliever rather than a fourth bench player. (Utilityman Adam Rosales can play a corner outfield spot in a pinch.) De Aza, who turns 33 in April, is coming off a tough season with the Mets that saw him hit .205/.297/.321 in 267 PA. This was much less playing time than De Aza expected to receive when he originally signed with New York last winter, though after the Mets unexpectedly re-signed Yoenis Cespedes, De Aza fell behind Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto and Juan Lagares on the depth chart. From 2011-15, De Aza hit a solid .270/.335/.413 over 2324 PA and he owns a similar batting line in his career splits against right-handed pitching.
It’s the final week of Spring Training, and there are eight Grapefruit and Cactus League games that can be seen today and tonight on MLB.TV.
Angels southpaw Andrew Heaney signed a precedent-setting contract with Fantex in September 2015, and discussed the unique arrangement with Pedro Moura of the L.A. Times. “You can look it at as marketing your brand. You can look at it as an insurance policy,” Heaney said. “Obviously, money to one person is totally different than money to another person. I live in Oklahoma. It’s not expensive to live there. I don’t live an extremely lavish lifestyle. I just viewed it as, I want to be comfortable, and I want my family to be taken care of, and I’m OK with that.” Heaney agreed to take $3.34MM from Fantex investors in exchange for 10 percent of any future brand-related earnings (i.e. future salaries, appearances, endorsements), a deal that drew some skepticism from teammate Huston Street after crunching the numbers
A 6-year-old forgot the cardinal rule of being a general manager’s son — don’t let slip about dad’s phone calls.
SUNDAY: Detwiler has opted out, tweets Slusser. SATURDAY: With little chance to make the Athletics’ season-opening roster, left-hander Ross Detwiler is likely to opt out of his minor league contract Sunday, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s unclear whether other teams will have interest in Detwiler if he becomes a free agent, per Slusser, but it seems he’d rather test the market than head to Triple-A. Having allowed 11 earned runs in 8 1/3 spring innings, the 31-year-old Detwiler realizes he probably won’t claim a roster spot with Oakland. “The way the last couple of games went I can guess,” Detwiler told Slusser in regards to his chances of making the A’s. Detwiler is primed to wrap up his second stint with the A’s, who first acquired him from the Indians for cash considerations last July.
A flare-up of irritation in Steven Matz’s left elbow has prompted the Mets to skip his next start, general manager Sandy Alderson announced on Sunday. Matz had been scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game at the Mets’ First Data Field complex.