Denard Span is away from the team to have his recent dizziness examined
and Carlos Gomez is in manager Ron Gardenhire’s doghouse, so the Twins
are trotting out perhaps the worst defensive outfield that I’ve ever
seen for this afternoon’s game against the A’s.
Michael Cuddyer is making his second career start in center field
after spending the past four seasons displaying below-average range in
right field. Jason Kubel is replacing Cuddyer in right field after
spending most of the past three seasons at designated hitter because of
his bad range and worse knees. And Delmon Young is in left field, where
he’s posted the worst Ultimate Zone Rating in baseball since the
beginning of last year.
If there’s been a worse defensive starting outfield during this
decade that didn’t involve someone literally dying on the field, I’d
love to hear about it. In the meantime, I’ll be saying a prayer for
Twins starter Nick Blackburn.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.