We’ve seen this coming for a while, but the Mariners and Russell Branyan have said goodbye to each other for good. Unlike Brett Myers and the Phillies this is all amicable with Branyan thanking Jack Zduriencik. He’s a Four True Outcome player: home runs, strikeouts, walks and the nicest manners.
Branyan says he has been talking to a couple of teams and thinks he’ll get a major league deal. Early in the offseason it seemed like the Mariners wanted Branyan back. They probably were hoping for a one-year, relatively low money deal like they got last year when he made $1.4 million. Branyan, who hit 31 home runs last season was probably thinking differently. Given that he missed the last five weeks of the season with a bad back, however, makes going either multiple years — or too many years — a risky endeavor.
If the Mets were seriously considering Carlos Delgado it means that they weren’t that worried about defense. How about giving Branyan a spin then?
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.