UPDATE: Rodriguez has confirmed that Stanton is indeed on his way to join the Marlins and will be officially promoted before Tuesday’s game. Mike Lamb has been designated for assignment to clear roster space.
3:41pm: Marlins outfield prospect Mike Stanton is not in the starting lineup for Double-A Jacksonville on Sunday, according to Juan C. Rodriguez with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and could be on his way to the majors by the end of the evening.
The Marlins have the day off on Monday, but Stanton could be asked to join the team Sunday night in New York and fly with the club to Philadelphia for a three-game set against the Phillies that starts on Tuesday.
He went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks on Saturday at Jacksonville and was 3-for-3 with a triple, a home run and two walks the night before. All in all, the 20-year-old phenom has hit .311/.441/.726 this season with 21 home runs and 52 RBI in 52 games for the Marlins’ Double-A affiliate. To say his bat is major league-ready would be an understatement.
If he is indeed being called up, it won’t be to sit on the bench. Stanton still has much developing to do and is likely to start at least three games a week in the majors through the end of this season. If he debuts on Tuesday, he will be the second youngest Marlin to do so. Miguel Cabrera, who played his first MLB game at 20 years and 63 days, still takes the cake.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: