I suspected as much yesterday, but it’s being widely reported now that Robbie Cano was ordered out of the Home Run Derby by Yankees brass. Which is fine. If I was Brian Cashman I don’t think I’d want Cano risking injury and risking some mechanical disruption as a result of swinging for the fences all for the greater glory of ESPN.
The only hiccup appears to be how it was all communicated. According to Jack Curry of YES, the Yankees had told Cano’s agent Bobby Barad that they were keeping Cano out. The Yankees told Barad that they’d gladly speak with Cano personally about it, but Barad said not to worry about, presumably because he would. Except Barad apparently didn’t tell Cano fast enough, because when reporters got to Cano before last night’s game, he was saying it was all news to him and that no one had spoken to him.
Not the greatest moment in the usually well-oiled Yankees machine, but it’s not like Cano is the type who’s going to go complaining about this sort of thing.
In other news, if Major League Baseball really wants a Home Run Derby, why don’t they just pick the top five guys on the home run leader board, whether they’re All-Stars or not?
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.