Yesterday the Blue Jays signed Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a four-year, $10 million contract and today general manager Alex Anthopoulos gives a scouting report on the 21-year-old prospect:
The financial commitment speaks for itself. We are hoping that this is someone who can emerge and be a core piece for us. This is a significant signing. He’s the total package. He has very good range, above-average throwing arm and above-average defense. We absolutely believe he is going to stay at shortstop.
Just about everything I’ve seen written or said about Hechavarria suggests his bat has much more upside than his glove, so (if true) Anthopoulos saying that the Blue Jays believe he’ll be able to stick at shortstop is significant.
Anthopoulos added that Hechavarria will initially head to extended spring training before likely making his pro debut next month at Single-A and perhaps finishing the season at Double-A. He’s unlikely to make it to Toronto this year, although the GM said that hasn’t been ruled out. For now the Blue Jays have 33-year-old Alex Gonzalez as a place-holder shortstop and he’s off to a huge start.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.