Mining the News – 3/2/20 by Paul Sporer March 2, 2020 An abbreviated version of the “Mining” on a Monday afternoon. Blake Snell feels good and plans to play catch on Tuesday afternoon a cortisone shot in his elbow On Sunday, neither Snell nor Cash would rule out being ready at the start of the season nor assure that he would be. Snell would likely to have been penciled in for the March 28 second game, with Charlie Morton working opening day. I’m not moving Snell down my board at this moment. I’m keeping an eye on this situation, but holding firm on his #6 SP ranking for now. — With two major blows already in their rotation (Paxton/Severino), the Yankees have talked with the Mets about a possible Steven Matz deal With the Yankees in a search for starting pitching and the Mets in surplus, the two teams have spoken about potentially moving Matz to the Bronx, according to industry sources. Discussions were preliminary and there is skepticism momentum for a deal will build this early in the calendar. By adding Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha this offseason, the Mets have six viable starters, though that’s hardly a major surplus for a team so they won’t just give Matz away, especially to the crosstown rival Yankees. The Yankees could use the 29-year old lefty, but I’m not sure they need him. Perhaps that’s due in part to my confidence in Jordan Montgomery plus the fact that both James Paxton (injury) and Domingo Germán (DV suspension) will be back relatively early into the season. — Staying in New York, prospect Andrés Giménez has incorporated a leg kick in hopes of boosting his offensive output and fast tracking his way to the majors. Mets manager Luis Rojas, who managed Gimenez at Double-A Binghamton in 2018, said Gimenez added a leg kick to his swing — which has helped the infielder spray the ball around the field. Rojas said the new approach has allowed Gimenez to have more leverage in his swing. Gimenez used his novel leg kick at the Arizona Fall League this past October and saw productive results. The infielder won the batting title — hitting .317 over 18 games and collecting five doubles, two triples and two home runs across 70 at-bats. He has found an effective approach at the plate that he hopes will bring him closer to his inevitable big-league debut. Giménez is firmly blocked off at shortstop and second base heading into the season, but the latter is by a 37-year old who has played just 187 games over the last two years. After a strong finished to 2019 which included some major defensive improvements, it’s unlikely that Giménez unseats Amed Rosario, but the two could make a nice double play duo in Citi Field this summer. Keep tabs on Giménez in Triple-A and be ready to pounce once he arrives, but you can safely avoid him at the draft table in standard redraft formats right now. — This one is a little older, but in case you missed it, Hansel Robles is pretty safely installed as Joe Maddon’s closer. The 28-year old righty quietly had a fantastic season last year, shaving his walk rate down to a career-best 6% and his home run rate down to 0.74 per nine, also a career-best. Those marks and his 27% K rate aided him to a 2.48 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 72.7 innings along with 23 saves. While they could still use more pitching (like, oh I don’t know… say, Ross Stripling!!) I think the Angels are pretty solid and will give Robles a reasonable shot at 35 saves if he holds these gains from 2019. — Adrian Houser seemed to leave his B-game outing early today, though it might’ve just been some thumb discomfort reported after he reached his pitch count. Houser had reached his pitch count. He had a little thumb tightness so decided not to push it. – from David Stearns This doesn’t appear to be a big deal but keep an eye on it for his next outing. Houser is an interesting mid-tier pick this year who both Justin and I like this year as we discussed on a recent episode of the podcast. — Another older one that you might’ve missed is that Corbin Burnes is working as a starter this spring and makes for an interesting post-hype sleeper, especially if you bought in last year when he was battling Brandon Woodruff. Eric Longenhagen mentioned him in a recent Cactus League notes piece, highlighting high arsenal: four and two seamers at 94-97, a plus changeup, plus curveball, and cutter/slider in the 90-94 range. Outside of Woodruff and Houser, the Brewers staff is pretty wide open (though I do like Josh Lindblom), so Burnes could find himself a spot. He suffered through a horrific 3.1 HR/9 last year and there’s virtually no way he’ll have anywhere near a 39% HR/FB rate again. The 30% K and 17% SwStr rates are nice and could give him something to build upon. — Andrew Miller couldn’t get a feel for the ball after warming up today: He said nothing physically hurts, and Shildt said that he was having trouble getting a feel for the ball, sensation-wise. #STLCards are exploring the reason for that. The closer’s role in St. Louis is up for grabs and while I personally favor Giovanny Gallegos, we do have Miller and John Brebbia listed as candidates, too. Miller has fallen from his perch as a top reliever over the last two years with a 4.36 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 88.7 innings and if this is any indication of another potential injury, it could be another tough season for him. — Henderson Alvarez III is being looked at by the Yankees, Royals, and Marlins in a potential comeback ($): None have made a move to sign him. According to one evaluator, the primary question remains strictly physical. Though Álvarez insists he is healthy, pitchers rarely come all the way back from shoulder injuries. But Álvarez said the years have taught him about his body. He has become more mature. His desire to pitch remains undiminished. Alvarez hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017 and even that was a poor 14.7 innings with Philadelphia. Before that, it was 22.3 poor innings with Miami in 2015 so he truly hasn’t been an effective major leaguer since 2014 (2.65 ERA/1.24 WHIP in 187 IP). For now this is nothing more than something to monitor and even if he’s picked up by someone, he’s really only a deeeep league option, but I wanted to point out that he’s at least generating a modicum of interest.