Wilson Ramos replaces Joe Mauer and makes some history with four-hit debut

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Joe Mauer is out for at least a few days with a heel injury, so the Twins called up 22-year-old prospect Wilson Ramos from Triple-A and he went 4-for-5 against the Indians yesterday in his big-league debut.
Ramos ranked No. 3 on my list of the Twins’ top prospects heading into the season, but was hitting just .179 with a poor 15/3 K/BB ratio in 16 games at Triple-A prior to the call-up. That makes his 4-for-5 debut pretty surprising, but even more amazing is that he’s the first player in 12 years to have a four-hit debut.
Better yet, I’m guessing 99.9 percent of baseball fans couldn’t name the last guy to do it. I certainly couldn’t, at least not before diving into Baseball-Reference.com for the answer. Go ahead, take your best guess. OK, ready? The answer is …
Derrick Gibson.
Exactly.
Gibson made his big-league debut for the Rockies on September 8, 1998 and went 4-for-4 in an 11-10 win over the Marlins. At the time he was only 23 years old, but Gibson played a grand total of just 16 more games in the majors, going 10-for-45 (.222), and was finished as a big leaguer the next season. He went on to spend 14 seasons in the minors before retiring in 2006.
Along with Ramos and Gibson, the other four-hit debuts belong to: Delino DeShields, Bill Bean, Kirby Puckett, Ted Cox, Mack Jones, Willie McCovey, Spook Jacobs, Cecil Travis, Russ Van Atta, Art Shires. That’s a pretty mixed bag, because for every star like Puckett, McCovey, and Travis there’s a Gibson, Bean, Cox, and Jacobs who essentially did nothing in the majors after their big debut.

Pirates looking for outside outfield help

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates GM Neal Huntington is looking for outside outfield help in the wake of Starling Marte‘s 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. With Marte out of the picture, the club moved Andrew McCutchen back to center field and have played Adam Frazier, John Jaso, and Jose Osuna in right field. But, as Brink points out, Osuna and Jaso — neither an outfielder by trade — misplayed balls over the weekend against the Yankees.

Among available free agents, the pickings are slim. There’s Coco Crisp, Jeff Francoeur, Cole Gillespie, Kelly Johnson, and Nolan Reimold (who is currently in independent baseball). The Pirates may have to find themselves a trade partner. They could also try to talk Angel Pagan back into action, as the veteran outfielder recently said he’s taking the year off. The Pirates could also look at Leonys Martin, who was recently designated for assignment by the Mariners.

Matt Barnes ejected after throwing at Manny Machado’s head

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On Friday, tension between the Orioles and Red Sox rose when Manny Machado spiked Dustin Pedroia sliding into second base. Although the umpires found no fault with Machado’s slide, third base coach Brian Butterfield was later ejected, still feeling like Machado wronged the Red Sox. Pedroia exited the game and was not in the lineup on Saturday or Sunday. He’ll undergo an MRI for his left knee and ankle in Boston on Monday.

For what it’s worth, Pedroia didn’t seem to feel any bitterness towards Machado for his slide. As MLB.com’s Jeff Seidel reported, Pedroia said, “I don’t even know what the rule is. I’ve turned the best double play in the Major Leagues for 11 years. I don’t need a … rule. The rule’s irrelevant. The rule’s for people with bad footwork.”

Tempers flared between the Red Sox and Orioles again on Sunday. In the bottom of the eighth inning with a runner on first base and one out with the Red Sox leading 6-0, reliever Matt Barnes threw a first-pitch fastball up-and-in to Machado. The ball actually hit Machado’s bat, so it counted as a foul ball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher ejected Barnes and the Red Sox brought in Joe Kelly. Machado doubled on the first pitch Kelly threw to put the Orioles on the board, but the Orioles ultimately lost 6-2.

MASN’s broadcast later showed Pedroia talking to Machado, seemingly clarifying that Barnes acted of his own volition without encouragement from Pedroia. “You know that,” Pedroia appeared to say. “It wasn’t me. It’s them.”

Update: Pedroia even apologized to Machado and the Orioles, per Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.

Commissioner Rob Manfred will likely look into Sunday’s incident. He could fine and/or suspend Barnes.

The Orioles and Red Sox meet again in Boston for a four-game series May 1-4. It will be interesting to see if the tension still remains then.