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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Baseball

Cody Allen loses Angels’ closer job for now

Angels logo

Cody Allen is out as the Los Angeles Angels’ closer for the time being.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus said on Wednesday that Allen will not have the team’s ninth-inning role for now, via the OC Register’s Jeff Fletcher.

Allen, who signed a one-year, $8.5 million deal in the offseason, began the year well with five excellent appearances. However, he allowed runs in four straight outings after that and had a particularly bad stretch in a four-game series against the Mariners last week. He took the loss in two of the four games and is 0-2 with four saves and a 5.40 ERA this season.

On another team he might be able to remain as a closer, but with Ty Buttrey and some other relievers pitching better, making a change seems to make sense for now.

The Angels entered play on Wednesday 9-15 after having lost seven of their last eight games.

Blue Jays to call up Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on Friday

Vladimir Guerrero Jr

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is officially heading for the majors.

The highly-touted prospect will finally be called up to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, according to manager Charlie Montoyo.

Toronto fans have been waiting for this since the beginning of the season. Baseball’s consensus top prospect was raking at Triple-A this season, hitting .360 with two home runs in just seven games. If you just watch him hit, you’ll know he’s ready for the promotion that he’s finally getting.

In total, Guerrero hit .331 and slugged .529 over the course of four minor league seasons, hitting 43 home runs over 287 games. He only just turned 20 in March.

Gio Gonzalez signs one-year deal with Brewers

Gio Gonzalez Max Scherzer

It did not take Gio Gonzalez long to find a new home after he was granted his release from the New York Yankees this week, and his newest opportunity will allow him to pitch in the majors again.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Gonzalez has signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Gonzalez had mulled offers from multiple teams, but Rosenthal notes that the Brewers likely appealed to the left-hander because he will have an opportunity to start.

Gonzalez went 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts at Triple-A in the Yankees’ system, and he was unable to earn a spot on their MLB roster. He was traded from the Washington Nationals to Milwaukee last year and made five starts for the Brewers, going 3-0 and posting an impressive 2.13 ERA. That familiarity was likely a factor in his decision to re-sign with them as well.

Brewers reportedly the favorite to sign Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez Max Scherzer

Gio Gonzalez is said to be drawing interest from multiple teams since he was granted his release from the New York Yankees this week, and the Milwaukee Brewers may be at the top of the list of potential suitors for the left-hander.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on a Wednesday that the Brewers have “emerged as the front-runner” for Gonzalez.

The Brewers have been linked to several big names on the free agent pitching market, as there has also been talk about them potentially signing Dallas Keuchel or closer Craig Kimbrel. They may not have a need for Kimbrel depending upon how Jeremy Jeffress is progressing in his rehab from a shoulder injury, and Gonzalez would be a much cheaper option than Keuchel.

Gonzalez went 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts at Triple-A in the Yankees’ system, and he was unable to earn a spot in their starting rotation even as they deal with injuries. The 33-year-old was brutally honest about how free agency went for him over the offseason, but perhaps things have changed now that the season has started and teams have a better idea of the help they need.

Rich Hill to return to Dodgers after dominant rehab start

Rich Hill

Rich Hill didn’t think he needed another rehab start before joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he backed it up with his performance.

Hill has not pitched in the majors this season due to a left knee problem, and was sent for another rehab start despite his protestations. He took the mound and showed just how ready he was to join the MLB team.

Unsurprisingly, Hill has been slated to start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hill can be a bit ornery, and it sounds like he was ready to return sooner. He’s definitely ready now, though.

Zack Wheeler accomplishes impressive feat with arm and bat

New York Mets

Zack Wheeler became the first pitcher this season to accomplish a pretty impressive feat.

During the New York Mets 9-0 win over Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Wheeler did it all. The Mets’ starting pitcher earned the victory after throwing seven scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Wheeler hit a solo home run to left center field.

The home run was the first of Wheeler’s career. It allowed him to become the first pitcher this year to throw a pitch 100 or more miles per hour as well as hit a ball over 100 miles per hour.

Wheeler joined Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom on the list of Mets pitchers who have hit home runs so far this season. Not only do the Mets have quality starting pitchers, they can swing the bat as well.

Gio Gonzalez reportedly mulling offers from multiple teams

Gio Gonzalez Max Scherzer

Gio Gonzalez was unable to earn a spot on the New York Yankees’ MLB roster despite the injuries they have dealt with to their starting rotation, but apparently the left-hander is still drawing substantial interest from other teams.

Gonzalez was granted his release this week after the Yankees chose not to call him up, and Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that he is mulling over “multiple offers.”

It’s unclear if those are minor league or MLB offers. Now that the season is well underway, it’s possible Gonzalez is drawing more interest than he did over the winter because teams are dealing with injuries and need depth.

Gonzalez went 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts at Triple-A in the Yankees’ system, so it would be tough to imagine teams getting overly excited about him. The 33-year-old was brutally honest about how free agency went for him over the offseason, and that probably has not changed all that dramatically.