* This isn’t really Quote of the Day material, but when asked yesterday
why the Rangers are moving Derek Holland back to the bullpen manager
Ron Washington said:
“We know he can pitch out of the bullpen very, very effectively.” Maybe
it’s just me, but the combination of “we know” and “very, very” is
amusing about a guy who’s made a grand total of 12 relief appearances
in his entire professional career and has a 5.40 ERA as a big-league
* Jamie McOwen of the Mariners’ high Single-A team extended his hitting streak to 44 games last night with a broken-bat single in the eighth inning. McOwen, who was involved in that crazy 33-18 game
last month, now has the longest minor-league hitting streak since Roman
Mejias hit safely in 55 straight games in 1954. McOwen is batting .353
after hitting just .263 for the same team last year.
* The latest plan for Raul Ibanez involves coming off the disabled list Friday and starting the All-Star game Tuesday.
* Justin Morneau announced yesterday
that he will not defend his Home Run Derby crown, although ESPN and
most fans probably “remember” Josh Hamilton winning the contest last
* Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star is not a big fan of proposing to your girlfriend at a baseball game, likening it to “wearing acid-washed jeans.”
The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.
Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.
With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.
Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.
Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.
Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.