* 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.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: