There were a lot of strikeouts in last night’s Twins-Tigers game, many of which were called third strikes. This is not necessarily surprising given that Fransico Liriano and Justin Verlander were pitching, but it’s also likely that the ump was being a bit generous with the zone too. It happens.
Not that Denard Span was all that understanding about it. After taking a called strike three in the eighth inning — which looked like a ball on TV but could have maybe caught a corner — Span, waved off home plate ump Paul Emmel, who promptly ejected him, more likely for what Span said than for the wave, because it was a really quick hook. Once he did, Span tossed his bat towards the backstop. Here’s the video of the whole thing. Span’s teammate Delmon Young thinks he’s an amateur.
Span apologized to Emmel, was reportedly mortified by his conduct and offered some seriously heartfelt “I’m sorry if kids were watching” words of contrition after the game, so my guess is that he won’t be disciplined for his little bat toss.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.