Here’s the latest from the majors’ East divisions:
- Blue Jays center fielder George Springer took live batting practice Tuesday and seems to be on track to make his season debut Thursday, Scott Mitchell of TSN tweets. The Jays signed the former Astros star to a six-year, $150MM contract in the offseason, but they have been without Springer so far because of a Grade 2 oblique strain. Toronto nonetheless entered Tuesday with a 3-1 record, though, and has received tremendous production from center field fill-in Randal Grichuk in the early going.
- The Phillies re-signed Didi Gregorius to a two-year, $28MM contract in free agency, but he wasn’t the team’s preferred option at the position. Rather, the Phillies were hoping to sign Andrelton Simmons, and they believed in January that they had a legitimate chance to bring him aboard, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Simmons wound up signing a one-year, $10.5MM pact with the Twins late that month – just a few days before Gregorius agreed to remain in Philadelphia. While Gregorius is the more threatening hitter, the Phillies were interested in switching to Simmons because he’s the better defender, according to Rosenthal.
- Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will make his first start since 2019 on Thursday in a matchup against Baltimore, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com writes. Elbow inflammation forced Rodriguez to the injured list to begin this season, which was especially disappointing after he missed all of last year because of issues relating to COVID-19 and myocarditis. Fortunately, it looks as if Rodriguez dodged a significant injury. This will be an important season for Rodriguez, 27, as he’s due to become a free agent next winter. During his most recent action, he posted a 3.81 ERA with a solid 24.8 percent strikeout rate in 203 1/3 innings.
- Marlins righty Elieser Hernandez will undergo an MRI on Tuesday evening, manager Don Mattingly said (via Christina De Nicola of MLB.com). It seems to be a precautionary measure on the Marlins’ part, as Mattingly suggested Hernandez is making progress since he went on the IL on Monday with right biceps inflammation. Hernandez performed brilliantly during an abbreviated 2020, helping the Marlins to the playoffs with a 3.16 ERA/3.17 SIERA and elite strikeout (32.1) and walk (4.7) percentages across 25 2/3 frames, but had a more difficult time in his first start of this year last Saturday. In a win over the Rays, Hernandez gave up two earned runs in 2 1/3 innings before exiting.
Ian Theodore Fanthemson
Freeman is the only Brave left standing from the 2013 team. The rest are out or no longer relevant, including Simmons.
BTW, Freeman is still without a contract.
Freeman doesn’t have a contract only if you don’t count the contract he has.
I would argue Simmons is still relevant. J. Upton, Minor and Heyward I can understand, but Simmons is still a top 10-15 SS playing on a playoff team.
I think Minor could definitely be relevant again this year. Brandon Beachy too
Freddie Freeman is going to get PAID after this season. I think the Braves will keep him but he isn’t coming cheap. If not, the Angels might be a destination. Also, would be a great Yankee Stadium hitter. (Yuck but it’s true) No matter where he goes he’s one of the best.
As a Phillies fan, I’m glad they resigned Didi.
I agree as a phillies fan
I third this
The Baseball Fan (Doesn’t like the Cubs)
In my opinion, Gregorius is better than Simmons.
What do you think?
As a Mets fan. I’m for sure more scared of didi than Simmons… but I understand the value Simmons brings on D. I could see a argument for both but I’d take the hitting.
The Baseball Fan (Doesn’t like the Cubs)
As a white Sox fan, I’m good with Tim Anderson at short. Lol
Tim Anderson is nursing his hammy
I would have rather the Phillies gotten Simmons. They don’t really have anyone besides Realmuto who is an elite defender. Simmons had very good seasons in 2017-2018 that I’m sure teams are hoping he replicates, both he and Gregorius have been somewhat underwhelming the past two years though.
Didi is an excellent defender. Has already made quite a few game turning plays this year. I love Simmons, but I’m not sure how much better he is at this point in their 2 careers.
As far as “élite” defenders go – yes, JT is the top overall C in MLB today. That includes calling a game and running a staff as well as defense and hitting. But Didi @ SS solidified the D. He’s an excellent defender. Segura was a poor SS, he’s fine @ 2B. Bohm improved so much @ 3B that he’s now at least an average ML 3B – better than anyone else in the NLE. Hoskins of course is awful @ 1B, and a lousy baserunner as well as a K machine – he drags down the entire team most days. Harper has stopped showboating in RF and is well above average out there (possibly the best RF arm in MLB). CF is adequate if it’s Haseley or Quinn. McCutchen looks healthier this year and while he’s nowhere near what he once was, he’s more then adequate as a LF. And Knapp may be the best all around back-up C in MLB.
I’m big on D. But it’s not how individuals play, it’s how they play as a unit. I saw in ST that these guys were in position backing up plays or as cut-off men as plays evolved – even if they didn’t touch the ball. Girardi has them playing solid fundamental baseball. It’s the primary reason I picked them to win the NLE this year. I don’t expect them to be perfect – no one is. The old cliché applies – “physical mistakes are tolerated as long as they don’t become excessive, but mental mistakes kill a team”.
Cult of Dickie Thon
The Phils are not a good defensive team and their infield defense is one of the worst in the league.
Didi doesn’t have much range especially to his right and he has issues throwing the ball accurately to 1st. It would help if Hoskins wasn’t such a bad defensive 1B and could scoop/pick a few of those balls out of the dirt.
Thought about that. With what I’ve seen of the NLE:
Braves have a slightly better D primarily because of Freddie Freeman (Phillies definitely better on left side).
Marlins may be equal.
Phillies are better than the Nationals (I love Turner, but the other 3 guys range from poor to awful). Mets are a similar case.
Do not agree that the Phillies infield defense is “one of the worst in the league”. If that were so they’d be botching games, and I assure you I wouldn’t be watching them play. Cannot stomach teams that beat themselves – on defense, the bases, with poor fundamental play.
For some reason Didi doesn’t get the credit he deserves as a SS. Don’t see a lot of Yankee games anymore, but when he first left it was clear they missed him badly. In thinking about it I believe much of that comes from the NYC and northeast sports media. They build up and tear down those they want to. How can anyone seriously compare Gleyber to Didi at SS?
Brian Anderson is the best defender at 3B in the NL East…
Didi received plenty of appreciation in NY. His defense, leadership and charisma were universally applauded. His problem has always been offensively. Still struggles vs. lhp. He’s not a top half of a lineup bat on a good team. No one in NY wanted to see him go but once DJ, Voit and Gio established themselves and Torres had shown his bat is for real there was just no room for everyone to play every day. Even though Didi outperformed Torres last year it was still the best decision for the team. And if anything had not worked out with DJ no one would have an issue bringing Didi back and putting Torres back at 2b.
That clip was garbage. Phils wanted Simmons because he is cheaper with less commitment, and then they could have chased on of the big SS next off-season when McCutchen comes off the books.
“Hoskins of course is awful @ 1B, and a lousy baserunner as well as a K machine – he drags down the entire team most days. ”
Hoskins is a bad fielder. I agree. But the rest of this comment is absolute nonsense. Phillies fans often target certain players and are way too hard on them. Hoskins has carried this offense for stretches. He’s an on-base machine. He wears pitchers out with good at bats. And guess what? He’s absolutely tearing it up right now. He strikes out a lot, but so does everyone these days. Hoskins is under appreciated. That being said, he is a bad fielder.
Ironically, Didi has been great defensively so far. Granted it’s been 4 games lol.
Simmons has an OPS over 1.000 right now too. Things will level out between them.
Wonder if the jays can package Grichuk, McGuire and a prospect for a SP. obviously not getting a top of the rotation piece, but maybe a middle to back end starter?
Dusty, it would have to be a very good prospect. McGuire is not worth much and while Grichuk hot, he is streaky and his contract is a tough sell.
Jays are one elite starter and one middle rotation starter from even competing in the playoffs. As built now they’ll get off to a good start, burn out the bullpen and fall out of the playoffs.
I would assume it would be a decent prospect and cash for grichuk.
The rotation will be better off once Ray and Pearson come back which won’t be long. Think they are an underrated team. There is no solid rotation in the AL East so everything is up for grabs.
All the jays need to do is yep Roark to go home. Instantly upgrades the rotation
Can’t see him being on the roster much longer.
If he sees may on this team I’m gonna be real mad. How can you say your trying to be winning team while constantly letting that bum go out every 5 days
I think they give him one more start, he’s competing with Zeuch for a spot. Once Ray is back one of them will go, once Pearson’s back it will for one of them or Stripling out.
Ray should be back too soon to be likely to take Roark’s spot — I suspect they’ll give Roark at least 2 more starts, more if some of those are good starts. And Pearson looks to be a month or two away from being built up, so too late.
If Zeuch has another great start, we might see Ray take Stripling’s spot with Stripling shifting to the bullpen, and then Stripling taking Roark’s spot later.
Agreed. I saw a good point yesterday which was if they were willing to start the year with Kirk and Mayza, which were the right choices, to have the best team possible, how do you roll Roark out for more than his first few starts? Ray and Pearson can’t return soon enough.
I have to think that the Phils preferred Simmons at a lower price, if they ended up giving Didi significantly more money than Simmons got from the Twins.
Not exactly. Dombrowski had a limited budget for 2021 and Didi actually cost them less. While he got 2 years $28 million, he’ll only be paid $5 million in 2021. He’ll get $12 million in 2022. The rest is deferred. Simmons wasn’t willing to take $5 million in 2021.
Simmons is getting $10.5 million in 2021 and the Phillies didn’t have the budget for that salary.
Phillies can’t have been too interested in Andrelton if he signed for 1/$10.5M and they signed Didi for more (2/$28M).
Did you two read. Coast’s comment?
There’s been discussion that even Didi left the Yankees it effected Sanchez’s caught stealing rate. Didi was able to do the bang bang play better than Torres and didn’t need the most accurate throw from home to make the tag let alone have it drift into centerfield.
Roark picked up where he left off in spring training. Might not get better when he faces a strong baseball team. Sorry Texas.
Tellez has looked completely lost and will be the odd man out. Only took five games for that to happen. I’d move Biggio to the 7-hole to be a table setter for Grichuk.
Maybe Springer will help spark the Jays offense. They aren’t clicking. Yet.
Happy Birthday, Eduardo Rodríguez!
Phillies should trade for Trevor Story at trade deadline.
Then, resign him.
Didi moves over to 2B
Segura could be traded to restock the upper levels of the farm and/or major league team..