There’ve been varying reports about the connection Mets’ talks for Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez this winter, the most recent of which suggested that the Mets “seriously discussed” parting with Michael Conforto to acquire Martinez. MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, however, was told “emphatically” that the notion was not seriously discussed whatsoever (Twitter links). DiComo notes that New York did indeed touch base with the Tigers and discuss Martinez prior to re-signing Yoenis Cespedes, but the Mets “balked completely” once Conforto’s name was brought up by the Tigers.
More from the NL East…
- Asked about his first season in a Marlins uniform, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen bluntly told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that his performance “was terrible.” The 31-year-old, who signed a five-year, $80MM contract with the Marlins last winter, posted a 4.96 ERA across 123 1/3 innings in an injury-shortened campaign. Chen admitted to pitching through elbow discomfort that would act up without warning and also revealed that at times he felt “a lack of strength” in his fingers and arm. Manager Don Mattingly told Spencer that the Marlins believe Chen’s elbow has healed, but he also suggested that the Marlins may be more willing to have turn to the bullpen should they sense that Chen needs a reprieve on any given day. “That is one of the things we have a better idea of, how to keep an eye on him and be ready to pull that trigger a little quicker,” said Mattingly.
- Generally speaking, the Marlins could be quick to turn to their deep bullpen if the starters are struggling, writes MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Per Frisaro, the Marlins are planning to take a long look at how their starters are faring when facing the opposing lineup for the third time on a given day. Statistically speaking, starters tend to fare considerably worse as they turn a lineup over multiple times, due both to growing levels of fatigue and hitters’ increasing familiarity with their offerings. Miami’s starters appear open to the additional input they could receive from the team’s analytics department on the matter, as both Dan Straily and Tom Koehler spoke to Frisaro about how that type of data could potentially help to create an edge for pitchers. “I think that’s the way baseball is going with the analytics, with the data behind everything,” said Straily. Koehler added to that: “If there is something happening a third time, there’s a reason for it. So there’s probably a solution to it, too. … I think maybe if we dig deeper into it, we can find a solution.”
- MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets that Braves Rule 5 pick Armando Rivero is currently dealing with shoulder soreness that stems from his stint in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason. Selected out of the Cubs organization, the 29-year-old Rivero pitched to an exceptional 2.13 earned run average in 67 2/3 innings with Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate last season. Along the way, the Cuban-born righty averaged a whopping 14 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, though he also averaged 4.7 walks per nine in that time.