Friday's Quick Hits

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– Fernando Martinez was sent back down to Triple-A by the Mets after hitting .194/.286/.274 in 62 at-bats over 18 games.

Once it was determined that Gary Sheffield’s knees were good enough
to allow him to return to left field, it was expected that Martinez
would be sent down, though the thinking was that the Mets would wait
until Angel Pagan was ready to come off the DL. Instead, they’ve called
up Nick Evans to serve as a bench player for now. Martinez didn’t have
any notable hustling issues after getting himself into trouble
initially, and while he never homered in his 62 at-bats, he also didn’t
seem overmatched while striking out just 10 times. In all, his debut
went about as should have been expected.

– The Yankees have chosen to rest Alex Rodriguez for two games following an 0-for-15 slump.

Not sure I agree with this. The Yankees just ended another
homestand, and getting A-Rod out of new Yankee Stadium should help his
hitting woes. It seemed like he was trying to hit one over the
extremely inviting walls with every swing lately, and he was just
6-for- 51 in the Bronx this month. While eight of his nine homers have
come at Yankee Stadium, he’s had a better approach on the road, hitting
.254/.389/.373 in 59 at-bats to date. At home, he’s hit .178/.355/.534.

– Reds prospect Yonder Alonso, the seventh overall pick in the 2008
draft, was placed on the minor league DL with a broken hamate bone.

Alonso was hitting .246/.309/.377 in 16 games since moving up to
Double-A Carolina. Before that, he was hitting .302/.378/.503 in 169
at-bats for Single-A Sarasota. Alonso should be ready to play again in
4-6 weeks, but players who suffer broken hamate bones tend to suffer
from power outages for months after returning. There wasn’t much chance
that we’d see him in September anyway.

Bruce Maxwell is the first MLB player to take a knee during the National Anthem

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Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.

“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.

While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”

Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.

Alex Wilson broke his leg on a 103-MPH comebacker

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This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.

Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.

Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.

The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.