Link-O-Rama: Wieters isn't Mauer, with or without power

Leave a comment

* Spencer Fordin of MLB.com wrote a well-done article about Matt Wieters struggling to live up to the ridiculous hype as a rookie. Some people were referring to him as “Joe Mauer with power” when the Orioles called him up in late May, but a) Wieters is hitting just .264 with four homers through 60 games, and b) Joe Mauer is now “Joe Mauer with power.”
Wieters has hardly been a disaster, remains one of the best young catchers to come around in a long time, and has a whole bunch of All-Star games in his future, but Mauer is a totally different animal. Wieters is hitting .264 with a .310 on-base percentage and .370 slugging percentage as a 23-year-old. Mauer hit .347 to win his first batting title as a 23-year-old.
* Freddy Sanchez has a measly .697 OPS while playing in just 13 of 23 games since the Giants gave up one of their top pitching prospects to get him from the Pirates, and now the second baseman may be headed to the disabled list with lingering shoulder problems.
* As you might expect from someone who was placed on the disabled list with a testicle injury, Adrian Beltre won’t be coming off the shelf when eligible next week. “I think the swelling has going down a little slower than we thought,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. Lovely.
* So far, so good with Carlos Marmol in the closer role.
* A little league field in Nick Adenhart’s hometown of Halfway, Maryland has been named after the Angels pitcher who was killed by a drunk driver in April.
* Pat Burrell’s wife went 3-for-3 with three RBIs yesterday as the Rays’ spouses beat the Tampa Bay Bucs’ spouses in a charity softball game. However, as they say on the interwebs, this story is useless without pictures.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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’s season debut could be pushed back to May

Getty Images
1 Comment

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.