Former Astros, Cardinal and Athletics right-hander Joaquin Andujar passed away on Tuesday at the age of 62 due to complications stemming from a lengthy battle with diabetes. The four-time All-Star was known as a passionate player that never shied away from showing his emotion on the field. Andjuar twice won 20 or more games in a season and was an integral piece of the Cardinals’ 1982 World Series championship, posting a 2.47 ERA in 265 2/3 innings before going on to allow just four earned runs in 20 postseason innings. Pedro Martinez spoke about how Andujar influenced not only him but an entire generation of Dominican baseball players Tuesday on the MLB Network (video link). Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Joey Nowak paid tribute to Andjuar in a lengthy piece that offers quotes from former teammates, managers and executives who knew Andujar well. We at MLBTR extend our condolences to the friends and family of Andujar as well as all who were impacted by his career.
A few more notes from around the game…
- ESPN’s Keith Law shares some scouting thoughts from the past week, most notably offering his opinion on Rockies top prospect Jeff Hoffman — the key piece in July’s Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster (ESPN Insider required). Law notes that Hoffman showed a minimal-effort delivery while sitting in the mid-90s and touching 97 mph five times during a five-inning start. However, the fastball has little movement, making it too easy to square up, and Hoffman showed a poor feel for his changeup on the day in question. From a big-picture point of view, Law feels that Hoffman has a lot in common with Jon Gray in that he’s a power arm with great stuff that has yet to show up in his results. Law also discusses Cubs shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres and White Sox righty Spencer Adams, among others.
- Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes that while Matt Harvey has come under considerable fire due to the recent drama surrounding his innings limit, he’s in no way a quitter or phony. Rather, Harvey is a 26-year-old that it trying to balance his long-term health with his desire to win a championship with the Mets while hearing varying opinions and advice from doctors, his agent, Mets executives, his teammates and fans. He’s in an unenviable position, Martino points out before opining that no one in the situation need be portrayed as a “hero” or as a “villain.”
- There are few open jobs on the Rays roster heading into the 2015-16 offseason, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, with Asdrubal Cabrera and John Jaso being the club’s primary free agents. That will leave some uncertainty at shortstop, and there’s already uncertainty at catcher, Topkin notes. One way the Rays could plug either hole will be to trade from their rotation depth, and Topkin feels that it’s “likely” the front office will do just that this winter. The Rays have Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly, Nate Karns, Matt Moore, Erasmo Ramirez, top prospect Blake Snell and, eventually, Alex Cobb as rotation options, giving them an enviable surplus of serviceable arms.