UPDATE: Not so fast. I had missed this, but last week Jon Paul Morosi reported that Ted Lilly’s 10-team no-trade clause includes the Phillies. Whether he’s more adamant about not going to Philly than Roy Oswalt seems to be is an open question, but it’s not like this would be a slam dunk or anything.
4:59 P.M.: Ed Price from FanHouse has that one. He notes that it’s “not confirmed,” but that’s what makes it a rumor, right? Someone’s talking about it?
Regardless of how true it is, this seems to make so much more sense to me than the Oswalt-to-Philly rumors. Lilly comes with no big salary obligations and nowhere near the no-trade hurdles that Oswalt has (Lilly has limited no-trade protection; there have been no reports of which teams he’d reject that I can recall). As for performance, yes, there’s a falloff from Oswalt to Lilly. But not a tremendous one, and certainly not one that offsets the far easier-to-do deal that a Lilly trade would represent.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers and Twins have inquired about Lilly. The Mets have been talked about before as well, but Rosenthal says they are “waiting on direction from above.” Which means that Omar Minaya, as is almost always the case, is being told what to do by the Wilpons.
How uplifting for Mets fans!
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton really likes May 4. May the fourth is “Star Wars Day” for the obvious, punny reason.
While he was doing his normal workouts, Stanton donned a Chewbacca mask, then dodged imaginary lasers and fired back at his imaginary enemies. Who knew Chewy was so buff?
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen had trouble coming up with an Anthony Rizzo line drive in the top of the third inning. The ball seemed to curve at the last minute, clanking off of McCutchen’s glove, setting up first and third with two outs for the Cubs. McCutchen was sacked with an error. Ben Zobrist then cranked out a three-run home run off of starter Juan Nicasio to put the Cubs up 3-0.
Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, McCutchen said after the game, “Whoever scored that an error should be fired. That’s unbelievable. I did everything I could to catch it.”
Here’s the video. Rule 9.12(a) in baseball’s official rules states:
(a) The official scorer shall charge an error against any fielder:
(1) whose misplay (fumble, muff or wild throw) prolongs the time at bat of a batter, prolongs the presence on the bases of a runner or permits a runner to advance one or more bases
Pretty cut and dried stuff here. It was an error.
Rangers 3B/OF Joey Gallo will miss three to four weeks with a Grade 1 groin strain, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Gallo, 22, has spent the season at Triple-A Round Rock, where he’s hit a productive .254/.400/.642 with seven home runs and 16 RBI in 85 plate appearances. Gallo was at times impressive in 123 plate appearances with the Rangers last year, but the club felt he needed some more work on his plate discipline, as he struck out 57 times in 123 PA at the big league level in 2015. At Triple-A this year, Gallo has drawn 17 walks and struck out 21 times.
Assuming he heals as expected from the injury, Gallo should join the Rangers at some point during the summer.
Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy flirted with the cycle in Wednesday afternoon’s 13-2 drubbing of the Royals, as he went 4-for-5 with a pair of singles, a two-run double, and a solo home run. That brings his triple-slash line on the season up to .398/.449/.663. Comparatively, teammate Bryce Harper — the defending NL MVP and arguably the best player in baseball — is currently hitting .266/.372/.649.
Murphy has always been an above-average hitter, but this level of hitting is something else. Of course, he flashed it in the post-season last year when he homered in six consecutive games, helping the Mets advance past the Dodgers in the NLDS and sweep the Cubs in the NLCS.
The Nats signed Murphy to a three-year, $37.5 million contract in January. If Neil Walker, acquired from the Pirates to replace Murphy, wasn’t hitting so well, the Mets would probably be jealous. Walker is hitting .296/.330/.582 with nine home runs and 19 RBI.