Quick Hits: Pirates, Carp, Blue Jays, Chapman

Aroldis Chapman suffered fractures above his left eye and nose after being hit by a Salvador Perez line drive in a terrifying moment during tonight's Reds/Royals game.  Chapman was on the ground for over 10 minutes while medical personnel attended to him, and the closer was eventually taken off the field on a cart and taken to hospital.  Reds manager Bryan Price told reporters (including C. Trent Rosencrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that Chapman "never lost consciousness. He was able to communicate, he was able to move his hands, his feet, his legs."  The Reds' official Twitter feed said that Chapman was staying overnight in hospital for further observation.  All of us at MLB Trade Rumors send our best wishes to Chapman in his recovery from that horrific incident.

Here are some items from around baseball…

  • The Pirates are open to dealing right-handed relievers Jeanmar Gomez and Bryan Morris, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports, though they'd prefer to keep Gomez since he can also start.  Both pitchers are out of options, and with the Pirates facing a crowded bullpen situation, it's no surprise that they're listening to offers for Morris, Gomez and (as reported yesterday) Vin Mazzaro.
  • With the Pirates shopping relievers and looking for catching, Davidoff notes that the Yankees match up as trading partners due to their catcher surplus.  A rival talent evaluator feels that the bullpen may be the Yankees' "biggest concern" due to a lack of proven arms, though several of those young pitchers have performed well in Spring Training.
  • Blue Jays president Paul Beeston and GM Alex Anthopoulos denied that the Jays' lack of offseason spending had anything to do with a new CEO at Rogers Communications, the team's parent company, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi reports.  "There’s been no suggestion of any type of cutback, there’s no suggestion of anything other than support and of everything being positive," Beeston said.
  • The Red Sox aren't particularly interested in trading Mike Carp, ESPN's Buster Olney reports (ESPN Insider subscription required).  The Sox aren't sure if they "could get something particularly appealing" in a deal involving Carp.  The Pirates, Brewers and Tigers have all been linked to Carp in rumors this offseason, and with Grady Sizemore's strong Spring Training, Carp could be an expendable piece on the Boston roster.
  • Between Jarrod Parker's Tommy John surgery and injuries to A.J. Griffin and Scott Kazmir, MLB.com's Jane Lee feels the Athletics could be forced to look for external pitching help in the case of any more injuries or if any of their current starters struggle.  Lee also addresses several other A's topics as part of her reader mailbag piece, including Hiroyuki Nakajima's status in the club's minor league camp.
  • With the Barry Bonds and Melky Cabrera controversies still lingering in the franchise's recent past, Giants president and CEO Larry Baer told Henry Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle that his club is more inclined to avoid players with drug suspensions.  "We don't have a blanket policy saying we'll never touch a player that has a PED history. But I'd say that for us, it's a larger mountain to climb than others," Baer said.  The Giants will look at such players "on a case-by-case basis" (like recent signing Mike Morse, suspended for 10 games in 2005) but players like Nelson Cruz who were coming off PED suspensions and required draft pick compensation to sign seem out of the question.  "Qualifying offer and a PED association – that's a bad combination. Brian [Sabean] and I both feel very strongly about that," Baer said.


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32 Comments on "Quick Hits: Pirates, Carp, Blue Jays, Chapman"


pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Hopefully Chapman is OK. The new protective hats would not have offered any protection here since the ball hit below the cap line.

I think MLB should move the mound back much like they did in 1968. Pitchers are so much bigger now their release point is closer to the plate and so velocities are higher, suppressing offense. Batters are also stronger so the ball off the bat is much harder and gives pitchers less reaction time to protect themselves. This is a win win and also puts a bit more offense back in the game

David R Rolfes
1 year 5 months ago

They never moved the mound. It’s still 60.6 ft from home plate. What MLB DID do after the 1968 season was lowered the mound.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

They lowered the mound and moved it back 6 inches. Used to be 60 ft.

Namche
1 year 5 months ago

The distance from the mound to the plate hasn’t changed since 1893 when it was moved from 50′ to 60’6″. It was lowered five inches in 1968 but not moved back. You need to scrap whatever source told you the mound was moved back 6″ in 1968.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

If the league refused to move the mound back after the “year of the pitcher” in 1968, with guys like Bullet Bob veale, Bob Gibson, Don Dysdale, Marichal and others.. They are not going to move it back now.

Just dropping it down leads to other issues. The old mound at Milwaukee’s County stadium was a couple of inches lower than at other stadiums, whether on purpose or by accident back in the 70’s. Luis Tiant would have to be skipped there, or miss a couple of turns after wards with a sore back after pitching there.

That is the after effects of pitching 1 game at one stadium a couple of inches lower at 1 stadium than at others.Can you imagine the outcry if someone developed a serious back injury, just because they never got used to lower mounds across the board?

beisbolista
1 year 5 months ago

I think MLB should avoid any impulse reactions like the one you are suggesting. Accidents happen, and accidents like this are few and far between. Aroldis Chapman is making $2MM this year. Plus he will receive 100% free medical care relating to this injury. Hard to consider him a victim of anything but bad luck, especially in a situation like this one, where it seems pretty clear he won’t even miss that much time. Skull fractures are clinically insignificant. There is no evidence of neurological damage based on initial reports. He’ll probably be out of the hospital tomorrow. Chapman, like most other Major League players, are being well compensated for the risks related to the game.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Not really an impulse reaction. As many pitchers are getting beaned as catchers were getting run over and concussed. The protective head gear is only a partial solution because some of the more serious injuries are facial shots. Hitters are bigger and stronger and maple bats and bat technology in general all combine so that the speed off the bat is much harder than before. Guys like Chapman who throw so hard due to conditioning and a release point that’s closer to the plate also have the ball come back at them harder.

They can also deaden the ball, and may have done so a bit already in recent years, but that will kill offense

beisbolista
1 year 5 months ago

When a change to the structure of a sport is discussed the night of a related injury it is on impulse… by definition. It is not a time when the proposed change can be discussed rationally.

The extremely marginal increase in safety that moving the mound back might (and really, might not) offer is not worth upending the offensive-defensive balance in baseball. Furthermore, the same split second you hope to add for a pitcher’s reaction time might be the same split second of reaction time a batter needs to hit the ball even harder at the pitcher.

Curt Green
1 year 5 months ago

Move the mound back? I could be wrong but hasn’t always been the same distance to home plate? I think maybe you mean move the mound up. I think they lowered it in 1968.

Trock
1 year 5 months ago

Although I agree that sports injuries like this are very bad, and no one likes to see them, there can only be so much protection to sports athletes. These scenarios are freak one off situations. We can’t hold their hands while they play sports (to which they know are dangerous and things like this can happen). Eventually there will be so many rules of what you can’t do, protection that they will be getting paid millions of dollars to stand behind a fence to pitch the ball. Football will turn into flag football and if you get within a foot of touching a players body, you are fined.
That being said, I do wish Chapman a speedy recovery. Did not see a video of this yet.

kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

The sound made by the ball striking him was quite disturbing.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Cervelli is a pretty strong backup catcher. Yankees aren’t going to trade him for any other out of options player. They have relievers, it’s just the lack of elite relievers aside from Robertson. Those aren’t very good options Davidoff brought up.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Yankees would be crazy to trade him for beans given McCanns recent injury history. They need a backup catcher who can hit. I think Cervellis is also a very good clubhouse guy although I don’t know how much that’s worth. According to the Red Sox its a lot.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Agreed, that’s why I feel it’s better they trade JR Murphy who many, including Keith Law, have said he’s all but ready to be a MLB starting catcher. I’m not saying it will take A Lot to get Murphy but it shouldn’t be for a scrub. Perhaps a young infielder or good middle reliever.

I don’t know what their future plans are though with Austin Romine.

bucsws2014
1 year 5 months ago

Haven’t you heard yet that he hates being called “JR” and demands to be called John Ryan?

Anyway, Morris and Mazzaro are certainly good enough to make pretty much any team’s bullpen, with the exception of the Bucs and maybe the Braves and Red Sox. The Bucs are looking for a solid pitch framer as backup rather than a bench bat. The main reason Cervelli comes up is that he’s good at framing and has stated he’s not happy in NY. If the Bucs got him it would only be for a year anyway.

I don’t like the idea of dangling Gomez out there because of the near-certainty of Volquez failing. But they do have Pimintel as a backup swingman. Nice for the Bucs to have first-world problems for a change. Five years ago, any of us could’ve made their pen. Now they’ve got a surplus of quality arms with an entire other army of flamethrowers at AAA.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

“Haven’t you heard yet that he hates being called “JR” and demands to be called John Ryan?”

Yes I have, but I refuse to say John Ryan.

“The main reason Cervelli comes up is that he’s good at framing and has stated he’s not happy in NY”

Um, you have a source that says that? Unless he said something totally different recently, this was a quote from him about 9 days ago:

“All the things that happened in 2013, this is different,’’ Cervelli
said Monday. “I’m thankful to God to let me be here and I’m going to
just do my job. I’m not worried about what they decide. This is a
business and they can do whatever they want.”

Stratocaster
1 year 5 months ago

The Yankees are not trading Cervelli or Murphy for an out of options bull-pen arm. If either of those two is traded it will be for a young middle infielder with some upside. Otherwise you keep the depth at a premium position, make Cervelli the BUC and let Murphy play every day at AAA.

Mike Adamson
1 year 5 months ago

The Pirates don’t need a Catcher either. They have Tony Sanchez ready to play. Bryan Morris should not be traded!!! He could end up being Grilli’s replacement. If we move Morris it better be for 1B.

connfyoozed .
1 year 5 months ago

The Pirates have stated that they want Sanchez to get playing time in AAA to work on his defense, and none of the other catchers currently in the organization are ready or any good. And I don’t share your faith in Morris: his peripheral numbers last year suggest he was a bit fortunate. At one time the Pirates thought Morris could be the closer of the future, but I don’t think they feel that way any more.

Todd Smith
1 year 5 months ago

Chris Stewart only had minor surgery on his knee and is only expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Tony Sanchez can open the season as the backup catcher, and then go back down to AAA and get playing time there for most of the season. No need to trade for a catcher.

connfyoozed .
1 year 5 months ago

Except that the Pirates said they would prefer not to do that, and also the minor league catchers they have other than Sanchez are apparently not impressing. In theory, I completely agree with you, Todd.

Todd Smith
1 year 5 months ago

The Pirates want to keep Sanchez at AAA this year so he can get regular playing time, rather than just sit on the bench. I agree with that decision. We’re talking about 2 weeks of the regular season here. Sanchez can fill in for those two weeks and still play almost the entire season at AAA. There’s no point in going out and trading for a guy like Cervelli to play the first two weeks of April. As a backup catcher, that’s only 3 or 4 games.

BD_Vlad
1 year 5 months ago

FWIW, there has been a lot of ink spilled this spring about how much better Morris’s stuff looks than it did last year.

connfyoozed .
1 year 5 months ago

I did see that before, but forgot about it when I wrote. Thanks.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 5 months ago

We still have Romine and Gary Sanchez who could be ready in a couple years maybe even sooner.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Just because you have excess depth doesn’t mean you have to trade it. A trade makes sense, but not for an out of options bullpen arm. They better off waiting until a team loses their catcher.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 5 months ago

I’d give up Romine for him, he’s young and hasn’t really proven himself. But he’s expendable IMO. I’d keep everyone else unless a really good trade presented itself for an infielder.

chicothekid
1 year 5 months ago

The Mets have extra 1b, the Pirates need one. The Mets need an extra lefty for the pen and the Pirates have one. How do we make this happen?

Jake L
1 year 5 months ago

Just give us Ike Davis.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

The A’s are finally getting some of that “Texas Luck”. I thought we were the only ones that could lose a few pitchers at a time.

1 year 5 months ago

Sizemore’s success isn’t really tied to Carp’s future with Boston. If Sizemore makes the team, JBJ is headed to AAA. The Red Sox won’t trade Carp until someone makes them an offer that exceeds his value to them. That’s why gauging Carp’s trade value has been tricky.

Torontopoly
Torontopoly
1 year 5 months ago

I call shenanigans on AA and Beeston. Either the Rogers vault was closed due to a new CEO or the CAD-USD exchange rate or we have the most horrendous front office in the league.