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0 What You Need to Know: Give 'em Hell by Daniel Rathman
0 What You Need to Know: Fret No More by Daniel Rathman
9 What You Need to Know: Oh, That Fernando Rodney by Daniel Rathman
4 What You Need to Know: A Five-Hit Night Unlike Any Other by Daniel Rathman
0 What You Need to Know: Eight Solo Shots! by Daniel Rathman
0 What You Need to Know: Near-Max Effort by Daniel Rathman
2 What You Need to Know: James Paxton's 101s by Daniel Rathman
5 What You Need to Know: So This Is Matt Harvey! by Daniel Rathman
6 What You Need to Know: Would You Believe It, A New Strikeout Record by Daniel Rathman
5 What You Need to Know: Jose Berrios: Not An Instant Ace by Daniel Rathman
5 What You Need to Know: Sonny Gray's Short-Lived Mound Shuffle by Daniel Rathman
0 What You Need to Know: Nomar Mazara Makes Five Of Us Look Smart by Daniel Rathman
2 What You Need to Know: Chris Archer Says Goodbye To All That by Daniel Rathman
2 What You Need to Know: Let's Roll It Up by Daniel Rathman
1 What You Need to Know: The Year Of The Botched Infield Fly by Daniel Rathman
14 What You Need to Know: Picking Up Where They Left Off by Daniel Rathman
3 Rumor Roundup: The Two Most Exciting Fifth Starters Named by Daniel Rathman
0 Rumor Roundup: Dodgers Consider Their Options, e.g. Zach Lee by Daniel Rathman
4 Rumor Roundup: Keon Broxton, Front and Center by Daniel Rathman
2 Rumor Roundup: Sorry, Missed Jackson by Daniel Rathman
1 Rumor Roundup: Arroyo's Hopes Alive, If Nats Can't Find A Better Man by Daniel Rathman
1 Rumor Roundup: The Sultriest Fifth-Starter Showdown? by Daniel Rathman
2 Rumor Roundup: Cotts' Contracts by Daniel Rathman
1 Rumor Roundup: The Next Two Cubans by Daniel Rathman
0 Rumor Roundup: Staying in Searage by Daniel Rathman
1 Rumor Roundup: The Josh Reddick Extension Conversation by Daniel Rathman
0 Rumor Roundup: Diamondbacks Will Make Pollock Prove It by Daniel Rathman
0 Rumor Roundup: There Were Four In the Bed and the Little One Said... by Daniel Rathman
6 Rumor Roundup: The Slow Burn Of Ian Desmond's Free Agency by Daniel Rathman
2 Rumor Roundup: Yo Back to Motown? by Daniel Rathman
1 Rumor Roundup: On the Dodgers' No. 2 Starter by Daniel Rathman
0 Prospectus Feature: The New Dominican Dandy? by Daniel Rathman
2 Rumor Roundup: Rumors About Melancon Aboil by Daniel Rathman
4 Rumor Roundup: You Can Never Have Enough Pitching Rumors by Daniel Rathman
0 Rumor Roundup: Cueto Aims Higher by Daniel Rathman
0 Rumor Roundup: What a Lovely O'Day by Daniel Rathman
1 Rumor Roundup: Is Yovani Gallardo Worth the 13th Pick? by Daniel Rathman
0 Rumor Roundup: Wait 'Til Next Year by Daniel Rathman
6 What You Need to Know: Fin by Ian Frazer and Daniel Rathman
0 What You Need to Know: Cardinals Clinch; Cardinals Are Doomed? by Daniel Rathman
6 What You Need to Know: The Chaos Chase by Daniel Rathman
9 What You Need to Know: September 28, 2015 by Daniel Rathman and Ian Frazer
0 What You Need to Know: September 24, 2015 by Daniel Rathman
0 What You Need to Know: September 23, 2015 by Daniel Rathman
0 What You Need to Know: September 21, 2015 by Daniel Rathman and Ian Frazer
1 What You Need to Know: September 18, 2015 by Daniel Rathman
3 What You Need to Know: September 16, 2015 by Daniel Rathman
0 What You Need to Know: September 10, 2015 by Daniel Rathman
4 What You Need to Know: September 2, 2015 by Daniel Rathman
0 What You Need to Know: September 1, 2015 by Daniel Rathman
The Rays ace was back, for a night. Meanwhile: Noah Syndergaard, Taijuan Walker, Francisco Lindor, and more from Monday.
The Monday Takeaway
woke up Monday with as many losses as he had starts, and the blame for most of them laid on the right-hander, a popular preseason Cy Young Award pick, considering his alarm clock rang with his Chris Archer at 7.32. The strikeouts were there—29 of them in 19 1/3 innings—but they were joined by 11 walks, and 30 hits, and six home runs. ERA
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The Red Sox coax five double-play balls and still find a way to lose, Carlos Rodon comes unglued, Jake Lamb saves the D'backs' bacon, and more. I mean, there have been two of them, so there you go. Meanwhile, David Price and Craig Kimbrel couldn't get it done, and Taylor Jungmann really couldn't get it done,
The Monday Takeaway
We’re but a week and change into the 2016 campaign, and already, the Phillies have had a season’s worth of misadventures with the infield-fly rule. Last Friday, seemed to forget what the rule means all together: Cesar Hernandez
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April 5, 2016 6:00 am
Harper is still Harper, Kershaw is still Kershaw, Arrieta is still Arrieta, and the new rule banning takeout slides claims its first victim. Young & Exciting Vincent Velasquez and Aaron Sanchez win rotation spots, while Brian Duensing wins more time with his family.
Phillies choose Vincent Velasquez to be their fifth starter
Position battles abound for rebuilding teams like the Phillies, but as the spring winds down, one of the biggest battles in Clearwater, Florida, has now been decided. On Monday, manager told the media that Pete Mackanin —who came over from the Astros in the Vincent Velasquez blockbuster earlier this winter—has won the no. 5 starter job, relegating Ken Giles , who started 15 games for Philadelphia last season, to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Adam Morgan
Velasquez, who turns 24 in June, debuted with the Astros last year in a swingman capacity. He made seven starts and appeared 12 times in relief, racking up 58 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings, a reflection of big-league-ready stuff.
wrote in our Chris Crawford Transaction Analysis of the Giles trade, “At worst, Velasquez marks a strong central piece as a potential high-leverage reliever,” but the Phillies will let him start until he proves he can’t, and his ceiling could be substantially loftier than the late-inning floor. Read the full article... Many a fifth starter is down in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Pablo's gain might be Travis Shaw's... gain.
Dodgers fifth-starter spot back up for grabs
The theme song for the Dodgers rotation this spring has been “Another One Bites the Dust”—and that’s not a reference to opposing hitters digging in against . Over the weekend, manager Clayton Kershaw revealed that the group’s latest ailing member is right-hander Dave Roberts , who was supposed to be the failsafe when the fragile veterans ahead of him went down. Now, the 28-year-old Bolsinger is sidelined with an oblique injury, and while it’s not believed to be a long-term matter, it does open up another void in Roberts’ Opening Day rotation. Mike Bolsinger
Here’s the carnage to date:
is out several months with a back injury; Brett Anderson is still dealing with shoulder discomfort and can’t be counted on until late May; Hyun-jin Ryu and the recently acquired Brandon McCarthy will start the year on the 60-day DL; free-agent pickup Frankie Montas is Scott Kazmir struggling to light up 9s on the radar gun; is dealing with elbow tendinitis; and Brandon Beachy just returned on Saturday from a minor case of forearm tightness. Alex Wood Read the full article... The Brewers look to settle the battle for center field, while Eric Sogaard might be facing Triple-A.
Keon Broxton emerging as possible center-field favorite in Brewers camp
The Brew Crew arrived in Arizona with a vacancy in center field, where once roamed before then-general manager Doug Melvin shipped him to the Astros at the 2015 trade deadline. At the time, now-GM David Stearns was in Houston, but since the Brewers hired him away in late September, it was Stearns’ job to fill the void created by his predecessor. And if Carlos Gomez Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Tom Haudricourt is reading the situation correctly, Stearns may have done so in a relatively nondescript December trade.
As Christmas approached, the Brewers struck a deal with the Pirates, sending first baseman
to Pittsburgh in exchange for two minor-leaguers: right-hander Jason Rogers and outfielder Trey Supak . The latter hit .273/.357/.438 in 133 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A last year and has the athleticism to play up the middle, but with his 26 Keon Broxton th birthday looming in May, Broxton was running out of time to prove his major-league value. Now, his chance seems to have arrived. Read the full article... You can plan a pretty picnic but you can't predict Almonte. Meanwhile, the Cubs have balked at a long extension for Jake Arrieta, and Tim Lincecum's unemployment shows why.
Austin Jackson chose White Sox for opportunity to play center field
When put pen to paper last week, the headline on the website of the Austin Jackson Cleveland Plain Dealer read, “Austin Jackson signs with an AL Central team in need of outfield help.” The Indians were a natural fit for Jackson, even before was slapped with an 80-game suspension. Almonte’s half-season ban seemed likely to add urgency to their pursuit of the former Tigers outfielder, perhaps enough for general manager Mike Chernoff to overcome his Abraham Almonte budgetary constraints.
Alas, it wasn’t in the cards. The AL Central team that now employs Jackson is not the Tribe but the White Sox, who
inked him to a one-year, $5 million contract. And the runner-up in the race to sign the 29-year-old wasn’t Cleveland, but Anaheim, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Read the full article... Unfortunately, his pitches are given to fly.
officially off the board, the offseason rumor mill is on its last legs. The spring training position battle and intriguing-opt-out time of year is only just beginning. Here are two situations in that vein that could be worth monitoring in the coming weeks… Ian Desmond
Pending Nats fifth-starter competition, Bronson Arroyo could be a late-March rotation option
There were plenty of teams in greater need of rotation depth than the Nationals when was deciding where to sign in late January. A host of those clubs Bronson Arroyo phoned to express interest in the veteran righty, who’s now a year-and-a-half removed from the surgery that made his old contract with the Diamondbacks a sunk cost. In the end, Arroyo chose comfort over depth-chart security, preferring the familiarity of working with manager Tommy John over a greater chance of locking up a rotation job—albeit with an opt-out to let him pursue the latter elsewhere. Dusty Baker Read the full article...
February 24, 2016 6:00 am
Michael Taylor could be the league's most important fourth outfielder, while Robbie Ray ain't guaranteed nothin' yet.
Nationals will spread the wealth when it comes to outfield playing time
When left in free agency, the Nationals appeared poised to install the homegrown Denard Span as their new primary center fielder, stomaching a boatload of strikeouts to enjoy his excellent defense and electric power/speed profile. Then, in early January, general manager Michael Taylor acquired Mike Rizzo from the Blue Jays, bumping Taylor back into the fourth-outfielder role he served in last year. Ben Revere
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February 17, 2016 6:00 am
The Red Sox look for bullpen help and the Rangers look to extend one of their elder statesmen.
Red Sox eyeing left-handed relievers
As the offseason winds down, teams stocking up on bullpen options qualifies as noteworthy news. Peter Abraham, who covers the Red Sox for the Boston Globe, brought us a dose on Thursday, tweeting that Dave Dombrowski and his staff are in the market for a southpaw. Specifically, Abraham mentioned and Neal Cotts as possibilities for the Red Sox, who are likely hoping that one of the veterans would accept a minor-league deal and come to camp as a non-roster invitee. Franklin Morales
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February 9, 2016 10:18 am
The Gurriel Brothers are coming.
Gurriel brothers defect from Cuba
In something of a stunning Monday morning development, the Gurriel brothers—the 31-year-old Yulieski Gurriel and the 22-year-old Lourdes Gurriel Jr.—are reportedly defecting from Cuba. The El Nuevo Herald had the story first, and MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, the go-to source for news on soon-to-be Cuban free agents these days, expanded on it yesterday. The Gurriels defections come as a surprise mainly because the two were not expected to leave Cuba without permission from the government. It appears, however, that the allure of the majors proved too strong to resist.
Yulieski Gurriel is a veteran infielder, considered one of the elite players in
Serie Nacional, and would not be subject to the international bonus pools. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., a shortstop and outfielder regarded as one of the top amateur talents in Cuba, would put his first big-league employer in the penalty—assuming he signs before turning 23 on October 19 th. Sanchez pointed out that “it could take several months” for the Gurriels to receive clearance from Major League Baseball, by which point the younger Gurriel might be tempted to weigh the benefits of waiting until the fall to secure a major-league contract. Read the full article...