Last night Pablo Sandoval was in San Jose to drop the puck before the San Jose Sharks-Chicago Blackhawks game. Because of that, other Giants’ promotional obligations and the team’s desire to get his beefy butt back into Camp Panda, it was assumed that he would not be participating in tonight’s deciding game of the Venezuelan championship series between the Navegantes del Magallanes and the Leones de Caracas.
But wait? What’s that?! Why, that– that’s Kung-Fu Panda’s music!!! That’s right. Pablo Sandoval just arrived at the ballpark in Caracas via helicopter to lead Navegantes del Magallanes into battle. And it gets better: El Nacional reporter Alexander Mendoza reports that his flight was coordinated by the Venezuelan government just for the occasion.
Of course, it probably helps that Navegantes del Magallanes is reported to be President Hugo Chavez’s favorite team . . .
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.