* Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, on Eric Wedge’s odd lineup
last night: “Entering tonight, [Shin-Soo] Choo had started 91 of the
Indians’ 94 games this season. He hadn’t been out of the starting
lineup since way back on May 29. Tonight, the Rogers Centre is
celebrating Korean Heritage Night. Presumably, there will be quite a
few Koreans on-hand. If nothing else, there are a handful of Korean
media members here. No one told Wedge. Because, naturally, Choo has the
night off.” Choo, of course, is the most prominent Korean-born baseball
player in the world.
* Jason Schmidt wasn’t very impressive Monday night in his first start since 2007, but was apparently good enough to get another chance this weekend. I’ll set the over/under on runs allowed against the Marlins at 5 1/2.
* He’s only been with the team for a couple weeks, but this picture of Jeff Francoeur from last night’s game basically encapsulates the Mets’ entire season.
* Longtime major leaguer Kevin Mench won’t be back
with the Hanshin Tigers after hitting .148 and “dealing with fatigue
and anxiety issues” during his first (and perhaps last) season in
* Daniel Monson of MLive.com sat down for an interview with all-time announcing great Ernie Harwell, who’s still going strong at the age of 91.
* Alyson Footer digs up some old photos
from a “wives gala” that the Astros held nearly 20 years ago, complete
with shots of Casey Candaele break dancing and lots of 1990s hair.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.