Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News says that while the Giants would welcome Bengie Molina back, they only want to give him a single year and don’t want to give him a raise. Molina, on the other hand, wants more money and two years. Given that Buster Posey is waiting in the wings in San Francisco there’s no reason for the Giants to make anything approaching that kind of a commitment to Molina. And of course, given the Law of Conservation of Molinas, there will always be a roster spot for Bengie someplace else, so he’s as good as gone. Possibly to the Mets, Baggarly thinks.
Not that San Francisco is completely sold on Buster Posey yet. For reasons that remain totally baffling, the Giants sent him to the Arizona Fall League this year, where he has struggled mightily. This, according to ESPN’s Jason Grey, is because he simply looks worn out, which is to be expected after a season behind the plate in San Jose, Fresno and San Francisco. A great season to boot, which makes one wonder why on Earth Brian Sabean feels it necessary to put more innings on the knees and back of his top prospect. The kid has nothing to prove apart from his mortality and injury recovery prowess, but I guess Sabean wants to test that stuff too.
Based on Sabean’s history, it’s probably also because he thinks any player under 30 is still too green to contribute at the big league level and needs some seasoning. This is consistent with Baggarly’s speculation that the Giants are thinking about bringing in Pudge Rodriguez in the event Molina walks. If they do, I’d bet you an order of garlic fries and an Anchor Steam that Rodriguez, and not Posey, gets the Opening Day start.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”