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15.05.2019 03:41
Blake Snell’s teammates did him a huge favor by knocking Corey Antworten

Kluber out in the second inning of Monday night’s dramatic win by the Tampa Bay Rays over the Cleveland Indians.Now Danny Duffy Jersey , Snell, emerging as more and more of a Cy Young Award contender, can help himself when he faces the Indians — and Carlos Carrasco — in the finale of a three-game series at the Trop on Wednesday.The Rays had their 12-game home winning streak stopped and moved a step closer to postseason elimination as the Indians won 2-0 on Tuesday night as Cleveland moved a step closer to clinching the American League Central.Article continues below ...“It is a little weird,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “But, you know what we can start another one here, we can get going. The guys have played really, really well.”The Indians, who added Josh Donaldson to their lineup Tuesday, reduced their magic number for clinching a third straight division title to three with their 15th shutout of the season. Rookie Shane Bieber struck out a career-high 11 and improved to 10-3.Donaldson went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his Indians debut in a game that saw Edwin Encarnacion reach the 30-homer mark for a seventh straight season.Snell, 18-5 with a 2.06 ERA on the season, is 6-0 with a 1.42 ERA in seven starts since coming off the disabled list.“I really think this team can do it,” Snell said Tuesday. “I think we can prove a lot of people wrong. Just got to keep playing the baseball we’ve been playing.”On Sept. 1, he beat the Indians in Cleveland, working 6 2/3 innings while allowing eight hits and one unearned run — his first career victory in three career starts against Cleveland. He is 1-1 with a 1.83 ERA in three career starts against the Indians.In his last start, a win over Baltimore, Snell had his streak of 14 consecutive home starts of one run or fewer allowed snapped by a two-run homer by Joey Rickard in the sixth inning. But he is 17-8 with a 2.45 ERA in 32 career starts at Tropicana Field with opponents hitting .212 against him in those outings.Carrasco is coming off a 14-strikeout game in his last start and comes into this one 16-8 with a 3.41 ERA. He lost to the Rays on Sept. 2, yielding five runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings and is 4-4 with a 3.21 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) against the Rays in his career.However, while Snell loves pitching at the Trop, so does Carrasco, who comes into this start 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA in five games (four starts) at Tropicana Field.The Tampa loss Frank White Jersey , combined with yet another Oakland win, dropped the Rays 8 1/2 games behind the A’s for the second wild-card spot. Oakland comes to St. Petersburg this weekend, but the lead appears insurmountable.The Indians announced Kluber will be skipped this weekend, giving him rest for the upcoming playoffs.“At some point Corey was going to have an extra two days off,” manager Terry Francona said before Tuesday night’s game. “There was no way around it. So Carl (Willis, pitching coach) and he decided that this week he’ll take it.”Kluber, closing in on a possible third Cy Young Award, wasn’t thrilled, Francona said, “So, he’s going to get a week (off) this week, which is too long. Now, the good news is he can throw a good side (session) and all that, but barring anything crazy, he can go into a playoff game with one extra day’s rest, which is what he wants. And that was the only way to do it.”Trevor Bauer, out with a right fibula stress fracture, is slated to throw off the bullpen mound as he starts his road back.For Tampa Bay, Matt Duffy missed his second straight start with back stiffness, pinch hit but is likely to rest again Wednesday. Kevin Kiermaier (illness) also missed his second straight but was on deck to hit when the game ended.Cash was ejected for the first time this season for arguing a balk in the eighth inning.Tampa’s Tommy Pham extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 straight games. What do things look like for the D-backs after the veteran inked a deal?"The dealFirst of all , perspective. It is a one-year deal, for $3 million plus incentives, in a season where the D-backs are likely not to be competing, and which doesn’t block any outfield prospects in a meaningful way [Sorry, Socrates: nobody who is older than Bryce Harper gets to be considered a prospect]. And judging by some of the reactions, you’d think we’d inked him to a Harper-sized contract. But here are the Diamondbacks next season who will be earning more than Jones’s $3 million:Zack Greinke Yasmany TomasDavid PeraltaEduardo EscobarRobbie Ray Taijuan Walker Jake LambAlex Avila Steven Souza Jr. Jarrod Dyson Wilmer FloresNick Ahmed Greg HollandAt the start of the winter, MLB Trade Rumors pegged Jones to get EIGHT million dollars this year. He won’t make anything near that, even in the (presumably unlikely) event he hits all his incentives. Now, it has obviously been a strange kind of winter - one that still sees Craig Kimbrel unemployed, for example. But we’re still likely talking around the cost of a middle reliever. It’s loose change in payroll terms. The usageI do agree, that the worth of this depends on how he’s used. It certainly doesn’t appear he is being ticketed as an everyday center fielder. That would fit in with Mike Hazen’s philosophy of positional flexibility, where players are valued for their ability to handle more than one spot on the field. See also, for example, Wilmer Flores, or the changes of position this year for Jake Lamb and Ketel Marte. Adding Jones. In the case of Jones, Hazen explicitly said, “I think he’s going to play all three outfield spots for us.” In this particular case he offers a right-handed option to an outfield that only really had Steven Souza in that role. Thus, he can give David Peralta a rest against left-handed pitchers.What’s going to be interesting, and remains largely unknown, is to see what this means for the “Ketel Marte in CF” experiment. I think this is probably still going to be a thing , but in the event it goes “Tomas at 3B”-shaped, the team will have an alternative option. How credible that alternative option ends up being, is subject to discussion. “We’re aware of what the defensive metrics say,” Hazen said, which is interesting. He went on, “We talked to Adam about it quite a bit, talked through how it would work positioning and things like that.” That suggests the team either do not believe the metrics paint an accurate picture (we have seen cases where shifts skew them), or the issue can be corrected.Losers Socrates Brito. Out of options, it seems to many that the writing may well be on the wall for Brito, in terms of his time with the Diamondbacks. That would especially the case if Jarrod Dyson is as healthy as the team has claimed - though Dyson’s ongoing absence from Cactus League play does throw that into question. Of course, those claims of him being back, any day now, could have been to avoid strengthening Jones’s hand in negotiations. If the team apparently “needed” another outfielder, his asking price could have gone up. We saw the team do something similar last season, trading for Eduardo Escobar, before the news came out that Lamb was injured. Doing the math, there will likely be five bench spots. Two backup catchers and Jones seem to have the inside track on three of those spots. Presuming a utility infielder will get one of the remaining two, it probably comes down to Dyson, Brito or Christian Walker for that last spot. Dyson is guaranteed money; the other two aren’t. But it would not surprise me at all if the season starts with Dyson on the disabled list. Indeed, the very signing of Jones Alcides Escobar Jersey , another experienced center fielder, does tend to suggest Dyson’s health may not be what it’s cracked up as. /adjusts tin-foil hat. Wilmer Flores. However, there is an alternative scenario, in which Flores occupies the role of utility man, with Marte returning to second. In which case there could be room for both Dyson and Brito as outfielders (though one and Walker feels more likely). Certainly, the news of Jones’s signing is probably going to cut into Flores’s outfield appearances at least somewhat. The team is going to want to get Ketel’s bat into the line-up as often as possible, so when he isn’t in the outfield, the most likely spot is the one which was looking to be occupied by Flores. But even in the infield, we have a plethora of potential combinations, with just about everyone (bar, I suspect, Nick Ahmed) capable of playing multiple spots. It’s all rather dizzying, and the addition of Jones has only made things murkier, rather than clearer. There’s no doubt Hazen and crew have a plan in place; they won’t just have found three million dollars down the back of Ken Kendrick’s sofa, and rushed out to spend it on the first free-agent they meet with a “Work wanted” sign. If past history is any indication, they’re going to keep that plan under their hats until its execution in the days and weeks after Opening Day. We’ll see then what it is, and can begin to assess whether or not it’s going to work.

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