* As expected, Adrian Beltre will undergo shoulder surgery today and MLB.com reports
that the best-case scenario has him returning in mid-August. Seattle
will miss Beltre’s outstanding glove and may choose to further weaken
their defense in the hopes of helping the league’s worst offense by
shifting Russell Branyan to third base while using prospect Mike Carp
at first base.
* Despite hitting just .250/.298/.303 with poor defense Emilio
Bonifacio still has people defending his play via cliches and
platitudes, as Juan C. Rodriguez of the Florida Sun-Sentinel writes stuff like
“he’s shown no signs of being a ‘me’ player.” My guess is that there
aren’t many 24-year-olds posting a .601 OPS in their first full season
who qualify as “me” players.
* Both the San Francisco Chronicle and Chicago Tribune report that the Giants are interested in Jermaine Dye, but as Dye himself notes the White Sox probably aren’t in sell mode right now after finally climbing back to .500 with yesterday’s win.
* In a recent Sports Illustrated poll Lou Piniella was named
the manager players would least like to play for. And the amazing thing
is that Milton Bradley wasn’t even eligible to vote for him.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.