West Notes: Athletics, Giants, Mariners, C. Seager

Sep 19, 2017 | No Comments

While the Athletics still face an uncertain path to finally landing a new ballpark, the club’s announcement of a target site has gained some support from the business community, Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. It certainly seems as if there’s some public relations jockeying going on as the ballclub attempts to ramp up its efforts. As Veklerov notes, some of the initial political response was less than fully supportive. More from out west: Across the bay, the Giants have stumbled through a disastrous season. CEO Larry Baer discussed the state of affairs as the campaign comes to an end with Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports. It’s an interview you’ll certainly want to read in full, as Baggarly pushed the executive on some interesting subjects

Syndergaard back on mound, eyes a return

Sep 18, 2017 | No Comments

Marlins Park’s retractable roof was open Monday afternoon, giving the sun an avenue to beat down on Noah Syndergaard. Dressed in a royal blue T-shirt with the sleeves cut off, Syndergaard twice climbed atop the mound, sweating as he fired 39 pitches in a simulated game.

Padres Designate Dusty Coleman, Jose Valdez

Sep 18, 2017 | No Comments

The Padres have designated infielder Dusty Coleman and right-handed reliever Jose Valdez for assignment, according to an official announcement from the organization. The contracts of catcher Rocky Gale and infielder Christian Villanueva have been selected in a related move. The Padres have also recalled RHP Tim Melville, along with outfielders Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe. Valdez has thrown a combined 50 1/3 innings for the Tigers, Angels and Padres over the past three seasons, pitching to a 5.72 ERA. While that number may seem high, his 6.66 career FIP shows that he’s actually pitched even worse than that number indicates. He throws hard, averaging 96 MPH on his fastball and 86 MPH on his slider, but he gets hit hard as well; opponents have managed hard-hit balls against him in over 40% of their at-bats. That, combined with his 36% career ground ball rate and the fact that opposing hitters are able to pull the ball against him 41% of the time, has likely been the cause of a 4.00 HR/9 that’s done Valdez in. The 27 year-old right hander was originally signed as an international free agent by the Tigers in 2009. Coleman, 30, was selected by the Athletics in the 28th round of the 2008 draft (844 overall)

Three Needs: Atlanta Braves

Sep 17, 2017 | No Comments

This is the latest edition in MLBTR’s Three Needs series. Click to read versions on the Tigers, Reds, Pirates, Giants and Mets. The Braves were among baseball’s absolute worst teams in each of the previous two seasons, finishing near the bottom of the majors in both wins and run differential. While they’re still below average in those categories (22nd in winning percentage, 19th in run differential), there has been progress this season. At 67-80, the Braves should surpass the 70-victory mark for the first time since 2014. That would obviously be a baby step, but moving forward with a healthy Freddie Freeman and the game’s No. 1-ranked farm system give the Braves legitimate reasons for hope heading into 2018.

Storen to undergo Tommy John surgery

Sep 17, 2017 | No Comments

Right-handed reliever Drew Storen, who pitched in 58 games for Cincinnati this season, said Sunday he will have Tommy John elbow surgery that will likely sideline him until the 2019 season.

Leader Watch: Greinke bolsters Cy Young bid

Leader Watch: Greinke bolsters Cy Young bid

Sep 17, 2017 | No Comments

Zack Greinke continues to lead the D-backs’ march to the postseason, and his return to steady dominance in 2017 might make him a National League Cy Young Award favorite by the time all’s said and done.

Porcello finds form as Red Sox keep 3-game lead

Sep 17, 2017 | No Comments

Rick Porcello kept the Rays bats in check for 7 1/3 innings and received enough run support to lead the Red Sox to a 3-1 win over the Rays on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: AL Cy Young, J.D., Phillies, Tribe, Padres

Sep 16, 2017 | No Comments

This week in baseball blogs… Cleveland Indians Perspective compares the work the American League’s top two starters, the Tribe’s Corey Kluber and the Red Sox’s Chris Sale, have done against playoff-bound teams this season. The Sports Tank regards the Diamondbacks’ summer acquisition of ex-Tigers slugger J.D. Martinez as one of the greatest midseason moves in baseball history. Sports Talk Philly wants the Phillies to inquire about Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman in the offseason. Big Three Sports delves into Indians righty Carlos Carrasco’s success

Cafardo’s Latest: Lowrie, Fister, Geren, Cobb, Braves

Sep 16, 2017 | No Comments

Here are highlights of the latest from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe: The Athletics have a $6MM option or a $1M buyout on Jed Lowrie’s services for 2018, and Lowrie says he hopes the A’s retain him. “I love playing here,” he says. “I think being here surrounded by the good young players we have has been fun. So I hope to stay here, but you never know.” It would be eyebrow-raising, to say the least, if the A’s declined Lowrie’s option — he’s batting .276/.358/.444 this season. He could, however, be a trade candidate as the team attempts to find space for youngster Franklin Barreto. Red Sox righty Doug Fister, a free agent to be, is being scouted by teams considering adding him over the winter, Cafardo writes. Fister did not sign until May of this season, but Cafardo notes that he’s unlikely to have to wait that long to find a big-league deal in the coming winter. Fister’s 4.40 ERA in 77 2/3 innings this year is similar to those of his last two seasons, but he’s bumped his K/9 from 5.7 in 2016 to 8.0 this season. He’s also fared well in the season’s second half. Those factors could make him a more attractive free agent this time around

Cubs’ Contreras suspended two games

Sep 16, 2017 | No Comments

Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras received a two-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his inappropriate actions — which included the throwing of his mask, which contacted home-plate umpire Jordan Baker — in the top of the fifth inning of Friday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.