The conventional wisdom is that Brad Penny no longer wants any part of the American League. This CW is backed by a rumor that he nixed a trade to the Twins for the sole reason that they’re an AL team. Penny — prompted, I’d guess, by his agent — denied that yesterday:
“I’d go back,” said Penny, who will start for the Giants Wednesday night against the Phillies.
“I think if I make my pitches against anyone, I’ll do fine. . . .
Sometimes you don’t get breaks. I was making some bad pitches, and
leaving some balls up. In the AL East, you can’t really do that.”
Would he really go back? Maybe yes, maybe no, but there’s definitely no way a guy like him wants to go into the free agent market without at least a credible basis for claiming to suitors that the Yankees are prepared to give him a gajillion dollars.
But just so you know, the Marlins will not be one of those suitors. Penny: “Honestly, I wasn’t going to Florida. I want to play in front of some fans.”
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.