Giants calling up Pat Burrell from Triple-A

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As rumored earlier this week, the Giants have called up Pat Burrell from Triple-A just days after signing him to a minor-league contract.
Burrell went 5-for-16 (.313) with one homer and one double in five games at Triple-A, which was apparently enough to convince the Giants that he can at least be a viable bench bat despite earning his release from the Rays by hitting .218 with a .311 on-base percentage and .361 slugging percentage in 146 games over the past two seasons.
He looks washed up to me, but then again going from the NL to the AL often has that effect on veterans. Obviously the Giants are hoping a return to the NL can rejuvenate Burrell, as he smacked 33 homers with an .875 OPS during his last NL stint with the Phillies in 2008.
John Bowker will be demoted to the minors to make room for Burrell on the roster after hitting just .207 with a .609 OPS in limited action, perhaps signaling the 26-year-old’s last chance to claim a long-term role in San Francisco. Bowker’s minor-league numbers have always been solid, but he’s done nothing in 513 plate appearances during various stints with the Giants.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.