Milton Bradley returned to the cleanup spot last night after a few weeks either hurt or batting elsewhere. He went 0 for 3, and struck out looking twice. After the second one, Don Wakamatsu lifted him from the game.
Whether Bradley’s benching was to save him from himself — Bradley, you may be shocked to learn, was not happy with the umpire — or to save the Mariners from his ineptitude is unclear. What is clear, however, is that he was angry about it. Indeed, according to Gregg Bell of the Associated press “multiple Mariners” said Bradley’s mindset was “not
good” after the game. The Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker reports that Bradley’s frustration was about the benching, not about his bad night at the plate. He apparently threw stuff all over the dugout after he was taken out of the game.
Neither Baker nor Bell suggest that there was anything exchanged between Wakamatsu and Bradley, but both note that he wasn’t in the clubhouse after the game. Perhaps, like Eric Byrnes before him, he got on his bike and rode.
If this keeps up he may have something else in common with Eric Byrnes: unemployment.
The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.
Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.
Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.