When you select someone in the Rule 5 draft, you have to keep him on your active roster or else his old team gets him back. Well, there’s one exception: you can keep a Rule 5 guy if he goes on the DL. And of course, teams would never, ever, ever put an ineffective yet perfectly healthy Rule 5 guy on the DL simply so they wouldn’t have to give them up, right? Perish the thought.
Which is why I’m sure there’s a perfectly good and legal explanation for why the Dodgers’ Rule 5 pick Carlos Monasterios — who was just placed on the DL with a blister and a split fingernail — is saying what he’s saying to the L.A. Times’ Dylan Hernandez:
How’s the blister?
“It doesn’t affect me,” Monasterios said.
What about the nail?
“There’s nothing wrong with the nail,” he said.
Oh dear, this is worse than I thought. Clearly the real reason the poor man is on the DL isn’t because of his finger or because the Dodgers are totally gaming the Rule 5 system. It’s because he suffers from acute amnesia!
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.