Rangers GM Jon Daniels said in an appearance on 105.3 FM The Fan that his club has not made an effort to trade for an impact catcher since Robinson Chirinos’ injury (transcript via the Dallas Morning News). To this point, Daniels says that other clubs haven’t called and marketed potentially available catchers: “No, nobody has really … the guys we’ve heard from the most are the agents who have either free agent catching guys that got released out of camp, or maybe they have a catcher at Triple-A with somebody where maybe they’ve got an out or want us to trade for them.” Daniels said that the Rangers have looked into adding some more organizational depth — defense-first, quality makeup catchers — but is more focused on getting Chirinos healthy than acquiring a potential replacement.
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com wonders if some time away from the Red Sox will create the opportunity for Pablo Sandoval to follow the route of former Sox pitcher John Lackey, who was a largely unpopular figure in Boston after the first few seasons of his five-year deal but won his way back into the hearts of Red Sox fans with a very strong 2013 in his return from Tommy John surgery. Bradford notes that it won’t be easy for Sandoval, though right-hander Clay Buchholz tells Bradford that Sandoval’s teammates are all behind him. “We all know what Panda can do,” said Buchholz. “He’s an elite player. He’s battled through some pretty tough criticism and now with this … I hope it’s not anything like it sounds.” Sandoval is currently on the shelf for an undetermined amount of time after visiting Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his ailing shoulder.
- The Indians will activate right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall from the disabled list on Wednesday this week, writes Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com, which means a roster move is forthcoming. Of the team’s four outfielders — Rajai Davis, Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd and Tyler Naquin — only Naquin has options and can be sent down without being exposed to waivers. Looking at the pitching staff, Hoynes lists a number of arms that are safe but doesn’t apply that designation to Joba Chamberlain, Ross Detwiler or Dan Otero. Chamberlain and Otero have been strong thus far in the young season, whereas Detwiler has surrendered runs in two of his four appearances on the year.
- While he’s only made three starts this season, Astros ace and reigning Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel has displayed some notable red flags, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs points out (notably, Cameron’s piece was written prior to Keuchel’s most recent start, though the velocity issues he mentions persisted in that outing). Chief among them is diminished velocity in Keuchel’s sinker, cutter and slider. Velocity peaks in the middle of a season for a pitcher, of course, but Cameron notes that even when comparing Keuchel’s velocity to his velocity last April, there’s a significant dip. Beyond that, Keuchel isn’t commanding the bottom of the strike zone as well as he did last season (or, alternatively, umpires are not being as generous on the bottom of the zone after learning from Statcast data that Keuchel received more favorable bottom-of-the-zone calls than nearly any other pitcher in the league). Cameron stresses that the sample being studied is small, but each is a concerning trend for an Astros club that very much needs Keuchel to approximate his 2015 value to make a run at the top of the division.