MLBits: Cueto Struck By Liner, Kazmir Struggling, Wainwright on Bat Flips, Lucroy Rumor, More

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MLBits: Cueto Struck By Liner, Kazmir Struggling, Wainwright on Bat Flips, Lucroy Rumor, More

Chicago Cubs

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There’s been a few more MLBits than usual lately, and that’s great!

Most of us here our Cubs fans first, of course, but are certainly baseball fans in general. With so much going on around the league, it’s good to keep up to date on as much as possible …

  • Yesterday, new Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto was struck in the head by a Billy Burns line drive on the very first pitch of the game. He was ultimately fine, and even stayed in the game for three more innings, but…yeesh. You can see from the video that when I say it “hit him in the head,” I really mean it. Not sure how he was okay after that one, but I’m glad that he is.
  • Remember the Miami Marlins grievance we discussed yesterday in the MLBits? Basically, the Marlins filed a grievance with MLB over Dan Jennings’ salary with the Washington Nationals, because it was too low (and the Marlins were on the hook for the difference between his new salary $115k and what they originally owed him $1.5M). Well, that grievance has been resolved in the Nationals favor, because, of course it has. It was an interesting case, to be certain, but there weren’t many who anticipated a ruling in the Marlins favor.
  • Scott Kazmir has gotten off to a slow start for the Dodgers this spring, as his fastball velocity is way down. While he typically works in the 91MPH range, his fastball has been dipping as low as 86 MPH through a few starts this March, and he’s apparently had trouble getting it down in the zone, as well. As one scout put it, “No bueno.” For his part, Kazmir says he feels fine, and he’s just ramping up slowly so as not to over do it. The Dodgers previously insane starting pitching depth is deteriorating rapidly.
  • Last week, young Reds righty Michael Lorenzen felt some tenderness in his pitching elbow and was removed from action. After undergoing an ultrasound, though, the initial results were good and he was scheduled to get back to into games on Thursday. However, after playing catch on Monday, Lorenzen felt some more soreness in his elbow, and he’s been shut down once again. He is now scheduled to receive an MRI, and his shot at making the Reds rotation out of camp may have taken a massive hit.
  • Adam Wainwright is not a fan of bat flips, naturally, and offers the most unfair explanation for his reasoning: “If a pitcher struck one of these great hitters out and then did a cartwheel off the mound, then … they’re going to bench-clear, but if a hitter hits a homer and throws a bat 26 feet up in the air, they think it’s OK?” Uhm, no. Those things don’t actually happen. Moreover, pitchers celebrate far more consistently than batters do with fist pumps, bow and arrows and finger guns to the sky (and that’s fine!). If batters want to do something similar, we don’t need Adam Wainwright or Goose Gossage to tell us if it’s okay. Baseball is supposed to be fun, and I love me some bat flips, damnit.
  • Adam Wainwright also hates the Beatles, pizza and apple pie.
  • Speaking of the Cardinals, indirectly, the New York Mets have placed shortstop Ruben Tejada on waivers, after adding Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera (two capable middle infielders) to the roster back in December. It’s possible, now, that the Cardinals are eyeing a claim, after losing Jhonny Peralta (thumb injury) for the first few months of the season. Tejada is scheduled to make just $3 million in 2016, but is projected to have a pretty down season. If he is ultimately released, the Mets will owe him 30 days termination pay, and Tejada will be a free agent.
  • At FanGraphs, Craig Edwards takes an dive into player salaries and how they are affected by a combination of merit and tenure. For the most part, Edwards finds service time (and how much a player has accrued) is the biggest indicator of earning potential/expectations, as opposed to the talent of any given player. Which makes sense, logistically, but may not be “fair.” My favorite quote from the article explains how Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander (just four players) will make about as much this season as nearly 250 pre-arbitration eligible players on Opening Day rosters. Crazy. It’s a fairly deep dive, and is definitely worth your time, so check it out.
  • At Hardball Talk, Craig Calcaterra writes your must-read of the day, examining the lives players actually lead behind the scenes. “There’s a sense from a lot of people, especially the casual fan,” Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler told Calcaterra, “that our lives are not real.” I’m sure I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but is important to remember that these players at the stadium or on our devices are real people. Some have sick kids, others have grandparents on hospice, some are getting married, and some families are falling apart. There’s not much we can (or should) really do to help, but it is something to keep in mind as often as you can.
  • And, even though we’re nearing the final few weeks of Spring Training, rumors(!):

  • If the Brewers manage to part ways with Jonathan Lucroy, it will indirectly help the Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals in the Wild Card contest, because of the imbalanced nature of the schedules (you play your own division more often). So, come on, Rangers, pull the trigger! (But also don’t give up too much in return.)
  • And Mike Olt has been set free by the White Sox:

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami