What is it with mediocre managers putting individual player stats above all else these days? First we had Jerry Manuel killing Jon Niese’s arm in order to try and get him a win, now we have Ken Macha saying
yesterday that he may slide Trevor Hoffman back into the closer’s role. Why? “I’d certainly like Trevor to reach his goal of getting 600 . . . We’d like to get that done for him.” Mercy.
OK, maybe that’s not 100% of the reason. Macha notes that Hoffman has had several good outings in a row now, pitching mostly in the seventh and eighth innings. Which he has. But at the same time John Axford has struck out 21 batters in 18 innings and is perfect in save opportunities since taking over the role, including a two-inning save last night.
Rather than give your Established Closer his milestone, maybe you stick what’s working? Especially given that (a) so much isn’t working for the Brewers these days; and (b) Trevor Hoffman closing over the first couple months of the season made grown men cry.
Put more simply, the back end of the Brewers’ bullpen is one thing about the team that ain’t broke at the moment, Ken Macha, so why are you even thinking about fixing it?
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.