Southern Arkansas pitcher Hayden Simpson, on the Cubs taking him last night with the 16th overall pick:
It came as a complete shock. We were hearing second to fifth round. I don’t see any problem with me signing.
No, when you’re a Division II player expecting to go in, say, the fourth round and the Cubs pick you in the middle of the first round, I imagine negotiating an agreeable signing bonus won’t be an issue.
Simpson has been by far the most-criticized pick of the draft. Baseball America had him ranked as the No. 191 prospect available and according to editor-in-chief John Manuel “many scouts had Simpson in as a middle reliever.” ESPN.com’s Keith Law noted that representatives from other teams were contacting him after the Simpson pick, saying stuff like “are you kidding?” and “not in our top 200.”
Maybe the Cubs just liked him for the cool-sounding name?
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.
The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.
Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.
The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.