Now that the Lance Berkman trade is officially official, the Astros are already turning the page, purchasing the contract of Brett Wallace from Triple-A Round Rock. The 23-year-old will make his major league debut against the Brewers tonight, batting sixth and playing first base.
Wallace was acquired from the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Anthony Gose on Thursday. He has now been traded three times since being selected in the first round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by the Cardinals. Wallace has a .304/.375/.487 batting line over parts of three seasons in the minor leagues and was batting .301/.359/.509 with 18 homers and 61 RBI with Triple-A Las Vegas this season in the hitter-friendly PCL league.
Drafted as a third baseman, Wallace began to make the transition to first base last year. While he’s still a very good power prospect, he has yet to make much progress with his plate discipline, posting a 116/47 K/BB ratio in 532 at-bats in 2009 and an 83/27 K/BB ratio over 385 at-bats this season.
It will be tough to shake the inevitable comparisons of the man he is about to replace, but Wallace is no Berkman. He should still prove to be a pretty solid major league regular, though.
Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.
With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.
The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:
Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab when catcher Andrew Knapp tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:
The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.
First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:
The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.
Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.