Newly acquired Red Sox ace Chris Sale’s unorthodox delivery hasn’t posed any significant problems to this point, as he has exceeded the 200-inning mark in three of his five seasons as a starter and combined for 386 frames in the other two campaigns. Asked if that delivery will lead to trouble down the road, Sale’s former pitching coach with the White Sox, Don Cooper, told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, “He knows himself really good. His delivery is solid.” Cooper added, “Chris Sale has three above-average major league pitches that he pours in and throws strikes. I don’t want to sound cocky, but I don’t think anyone saying stuff has a better idea about his delivery than me.” Cooper then lavished further praise on the 27-year-old Sale, who he thinks landed with the right club. “He’s put up Hall of Fame-credible numbers. And now he’s going to a team that is sparing no expense,” said Cooper. “Nothing stands in the way of them putting together the best team. He’s going to a team where he has a chance to put up even more wins. If he has 10 years like he’s had, he has a chance to have a Hall of Fame career.” Cooper had plenty more to say about Sale, so checking out Cafardo’s piece to read all of the pitching guru’s comments is highly recommended.
More from the American League:
- The Orioles are interested in bringing back two of their former relievers, free agent right-handers David Hernandez and Vance Worley, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Hernandez, 31, was the Orioles’ fifth-round pick in 2005 and stayed with the organization through the 2010 campaign. He spent 2016 in Philadelphia, where he tossed 70 2/3 innings and logged a 3.84 ERA, 9.91 K/9 and 3.96 BB/9. Worley was with the Orioles last season, but they non-tendered him earlier this month in lieu of paying the 29-year-old a projected $3.3MM via arbitration in 2017. The swingman recorded a 3.53 ERA despite an ugly 1.6 K/BB ratio last season.
- Having traded Cameron Maybin to the Angels earlier this offseason, the Tigers are looking for center field help “on every front,” general manager Al Avila told Evan Woodbery of MLive.com. “Maybe we can get that guy in a trade,” Avila said. “Maybe we can wait until January and get a guy to be a temporary fix. Maybe we can plug that hole with a sixth-year minor league free agent.” The Tigers have in-house center fielders Tyler Collins, JaCoby Jones and Anthony Gose set to compete for jobs, but they’d like for Jones to develop further at Triple-A Toledo. Gose spent most of his time last season in Toledo, where he got into a dispute with then-manager and now-Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. That rift is now “water under the bridge,” according to Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus. Gose is unlikely to reunite with McClendon in Detroit, writes Woodbery, who points out that Gose has no minor league options remaining. As a result, he might end up joining another organization via waivers if he doesn’t crack the Tigers’ roster. Collins is also devoid of options, though he’s a better bet than Gose to stick with the Tigers, suggests Woodbery.
- After the Mariners promoted Edwin Diaz from Double-A Jackson to the majors last June, the electric 22-year-old burst on the big league scene and quickly became an elite reliever with his fastball-slider mix. The club might have another Diaz on its hands in relief prospect Thyago Vieira, who also relies on a fastball and slider, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times details. Vieira, who’s older than Diaz (24 next month), is capable of hitting 103 mph on the radar gun. “There can’t be many people in professional baseball with a better arm,” Mariners director of player development Andy McKay told Divish. “He throws enough strikes. I don’t think anyone would say there’s a ton of command, but there are plenty of strikes and the slider is hard to hit and really hard not to swing at.” Vieira spent most of 2016 at the High-A level and then pitched in the Arizona Fall League, but the Mariners nearly released him before the season. “In spring training, there was a question as to whether he was going to make a team or not based on his age and general performance history,” GM Jerry Dipoto revealed. Now, after working with minor league pitching coach Ethan Katz, Vieira is on Seattle’s 40-man roster and could debut in the majors in 2017. “I saw a big arm with a lot of potential that just needed a little more time to figure it out,” Katz stated. “There was some stuff that he was doing that needed to be fixed to help him succeed.” Vieira credits Katz for his breakout year. “I have to say thank you to the Mariners for giving me the opportunity to work with him,” Vieira said.