David Ortiz, on playing defense for interleague games in NL parks:
I just feel so embarrassed when I do something wrong out there.
You’ve got a guy pitching his ass off out there and you just feel bad.
Nothing happened, but you feel like, “What the hell am I doing?” The
tough one is when you have to throw to the pitcher, because pitchers,
you know, they’re really not good fielders.
My mentality when I’m out there is like, “I’m a Gold Glover.” I was
pretty good at defense until I got humongous. I got to the big leagues
and I gained like 30 pounds, and we had [Doug] Mientkiewicz over there,
and he was a Gold Glover. Then I got here and we had like 20 first
basemen. Next thing I know I was DH-ing, and that’s it. People always
make a big deal about first basemen, but most of ’em stink, anyway.
They just hit.
Ortiz always struck me as a reasonably capable first baseman during his
time in Minnesota–surprisingly nimble, good at scooping low
throws–but as he notes that was quite a few pounds ago. Ultimate Zone
Rating pegs him as 1.9 runs below average over 880 innings at first
base since arriving in Boston in 2003, which is certainly far from
disastrous (although his recent UZR numbers are dreadful).
As for the above quote, he’s spot-on about everything except for gaining 30 pounds. I’ll take the over on that.
Angels’ right-hander Garrett Richards has been moved to the 60-day disabled list, according to a team announcement on Saturday. Richards was originally placed on the 10-day disabled list in early April after sustaining a right biceps cramp during his first start of the season. No timetable has been given for his return to the mound, though Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times speculates that his return date could be pushed back to June.
While the Angels report that Richards is making some progress in his recovery, he’s still experiencing some “irritation of the cutaneous nerve,” which could be preventing him from working back up to full strength. The veteran righty already missed 154 days of the 2016 season after suffering a UCL injury, and opted for biometrics surgery to repair the ligament rather than undergoing a more intensive Tommy John procedure.
This is Richards’ seventh season with the Angels. He last pitched a full, healthy season in 2015, delivering a 3.65 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 207 1/3 innings. He’s currently one of eight Angels pitchers serving time on the disabled list, including left-hander Andrew Heaney and right-handers Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Vicente Campos, Huston Street, Mike Morin and Nick Tropeano.
When it comes to home run trots, Adam Rosales is still the guy to beat. The Athletics’ shortstop led off the first inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Mariners with a solo shot to center field, and made it all the way around the bases in record time — 15.9 seconds, to be precise. That’s 0.06 seconds faster than the previous record, which Rosales set himself last September on a 15.96-second run.
In fact, as MLB.com’s Michael Clair points out, Rosales holds eight of the 10 fastest home run trots recorded by Statcast. (The other two, naturally, belong to the Reds’ speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton.) Eight of those 10 trots were recorded in 2016, with Rosales gradually inching his way toward the 15-second mark.
The blast was the first of two home runs for the A’s, who tacked on a couple of runs with Ryon Healy‘s two-RBI homer and capped their 4-3 win over the Mariners with a productive out from Khris Davis in the third inning. It’s the fifth straight victory for the A’s this week.