Angels left-hander Scott Kazmir has been nothing short of disappointing through six starts this season, with a 2-3 record, 6.82 ERA and 1.78 WHIP. On Wednesday, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided to reevaluate his spot in the starting rotation with an hour-long closed door meeting.
“We just wanted to get an understanding of where he felt he was, what
adjustments need to be made and whether he needed some time to make
those adjustments,” Scioscia said. “He doesn’t think so, and [pitching coach Mike Butcher]
doesn’t think so, so he will make his next start Monday in Texas.”
In other words, Kazmir needs to be better the next time he takes the mound, or the Angels will have to move in another direction. The southpaw could be demoted to Triple-A to work on his craft or moved to the bullpen Carlos Zambrano-style. Either way, something has to be done. The Angels are just 15-20 this season and are quickly losing ground to the Rangers in the AL West standings.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.