“I didn’t think I was going to be out there very long.”
– Jonathan Sanchez, returning from the bullpen to make his first start since June 22.
“After the first few innings, he had
unbelievable stuff. That’s what he’s capable of. And he was able to put
it together tonight.”
– Eli Whiteside, an unlikely choice to be Friday’s backstop. Bengie Molina left the team to be with his wife Jamie, who went into labor.
“I was going to go up and over and land on the other side if I had to. I’m just glad the ball landed in my glove.”
– Aaron Rowand, who saved the no-hitter with a fantastic catch up against the center field wall in the ninth inning.
“Nothing changes. Guys are doing the
same thing … sitting in the same place. They’re all superstitious.
Everybody was pulling for him.”
– Bruce Bochy describes the mood in the dugout leading up to the improbable no-no.
“I’m very proud. I was expecting him to get tired. He didn’t.”
– Sigfredo Sanchez, who actually saw his son start a game in the major leagues for the first time in person on Friday night.
“(Freaking) awesome. And if you guys
can print it, print it. He showed a lot about his character. He was on
the wayside, but he came out tonight and just shut up everybody.”
– Tim Lincecum finally has something else to aspire to.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.