The Mets have spent the last few weeks bending over backwards to get rid of their dead wood arms in Oliver Perez and John Maine, so it’s rather funny that they’d go out and sign a guy who’s been about as effective as Oliver Perez and John Maine this year. That’s what they did, though: they’ve signed Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal.
Ortiz, who was designated for assignment by the Dodgers last month after
posting a 6.30 ERA, hasn’t been worth a diddly durn for years, and it’s an open question if he was even worth a diddly durn back in the day. Before this year he spent the last two in AAA and in Japan. He was passable for Fresno last season, but he couldn’t really get anyone out playing for the Orix Blue Wave in 2008.
The only real justification I can see for the move is that the Mets are concerned that one of their minor league teams have been exposed to Legionnaires Disease and they need fresh bodies to avoid a string of forfeits.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.