It was a laugher for the Brewers last night, but early on Gregg Zaun suffered through a catcher’s nightmare: an inability to throw the ball back to the mound after a pitch. The video is here, and you can’t watch it without thinking back to Macky Sasser, who was unable to throw the ball back to the mound in the 1990 season when he played for the Mets. It was obviously some kind of mental block for Sasser, because he had no problem firing it down to second base.
Zaun was otherwise fine. More than fine, really, given that he had five RBI in the game. And eventually his throwing did straighten itself out.
In light of things ending well for Z-game, we can have a little fun with this. First, there’s Wezen-Ball, who found a potential solution for Zaun in a 55 year-old Peanuts cartoon. The guys at Tauntr have another solution. This one involves watching part of the movie “Major League 2,” however, so proceed with caution.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.