Jayson Stark points out something I hadn’t noticed: Jamie Moyer is four homer runs allowed away from becoming the all-time leader in that category. When he does it, he’ll pass pformer Phillie Robin Roberts for the title.
A partner in my old law office once had a $100 million judgment entered
against his client following a month-long trial. We tried to give him crap over it and he said, in all seriousness, “anyone can win a $50,000 case, but it takes one hell of a lawyer to lose a
$100 million case.”
And he was right about that. No one would ever give
some schmuck like me that kind of responsibility, and no one would ever give an ineffective pitcher so many chances to give up long bombs. It’s like that with a lot of records. A Hall of Fame hitter is the all-time strikeout leader. Nolan Ryan is the modern-era leader in games lost. The all-time blown saves list is filled with elite relievers.
Baseball is a game of failure (or so the saying goes). For a pitcher, giving up a home run is a failure of sorts. But being around to give up as many as Jamie Moyer has is a testament to how someone works around their failures and compensates for them, thereby allowing them to, um, fail another day.
There’s something kind of nice about that.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.