17-year-old Bryce Harper, the early favorite to be selected as the first pick in June’s First-Year Player Draft, made his collegiate debut with College of Southern Nevada on Friday night against Western Arizona.
Harper started at third base — and had a throwing error during in the fifth inning — but finished 1-for-3 with two RBI and a walk. He walked in his plate appearance, and after the ball was taken out of play, Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse tweeted, “must be for Cooperstown.” Yes, the hype is already in overdrive.
The young phenom debuted in front a record crowd of about 1,300 with an estimated 100 scouts in attendance, including Nationals assistant general managers Bob Boone and Roy Clark, scouting director Kris Kline and scout Jeff Zona. They have an eye for teenagers who can fit 570 ft home runs.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals have signed free agent reliever Neftali Feliz, pending a physical. The Brewers designated Feliz for assignment last week and released him on Monday.
Feliz, 29, opened the season as the Brewers’ closer, but struggled and was eventually taken out of the role in mid-May, giving way to Corey Knebel. In 29 appearances spanning 27 innings with the Brewers, Feliz posted a 6.00 ERA with a 21/15 K/BB ratio.
The Royals have had bullpen issues of their own, so Feliz will try to provide some stability given his track record. It’s not clear yet if the Royals want to let Feliz get his feet wet at Triple-A or throw him right into the bullpen mix.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).