The Blue Jays are finally ready to reward top catching prospect J.P. Arencibia for the astronomic numbers that he has posted this season at Triple-A Las Vegas. With John Buck needing a stint on the disabled list due to a laceration on his hand, the 24-year-old Arencibia had his contract purchased on Wednesday afternoon.
Arencibia was drafted in the first round of the 2007 first-year player drafted and has flashed solid power numbers at nearly every minor league stop. This year he’s managed a Pacific Coast League-leading 31 home runs in 379 at-bats, along with 79 RBI and a total of 71 runs scored.
The Jays are hoping he will carry some of that “pop” with him to Toronto, where he is likely to start behind the plate for Friday’s series-opener against the Rays. If Arencibia proves capable of handling major league pitching in his first tour through the bigs, the Blue Jays could let John Buck walk this winter.
Buck was signed to a one-year contract this offseason and has produced at a better-than-expected rate, but Arencibia is cheaper and already more talented. We’ll get an abrupt chance over the next two weeks to see if he is also more productive.
The Sox’ winning streak ends at 11, thanks in part to Gary Sanchez continuing to hit like Barry Bonds or someone. Well, not quite Bonds, but his 20 homers in 49 games is ridiculous. I’d say “at some point pitchers need to stop giving him stuff to hit,” but this dude drove in a run when someone tried to intentionally walk him a week or two ago, so maybe there is nothing that can be done. In any event, Boston’s loss, along with the Blue Jays win, means that the AL East is not quite settled. It likely is practically, but not technically!
In other news, the Tigers pounded the Indians and their post-clinch, hungover lineup and, with the Orioles’ loss, pull a game closer in the Wild Card. The Mets pounded the Marlins who, one suspects, can only run on emotion so long and desperately want and ned to be with their loved ones to process this past week. The Cards and Giants both won as well, keeping the NL Wild Card at the status quo for another day: the Mets and Giants in, if the season ended today, the Cards one back.
Yankees 6, Red Sox 4
Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 2
Cubs 6, Pirates 4
Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1
Tigers 12, Indians 0
Braves 7, Phillies 6
Mets 12, Marlins 1
Royals 4, Twins 3
Rangers 6, Brewers 4
White Sox 13, Rays 6
Astros 8, Mariners 4
Cardinals 12, Reds 5
Angels 8, Athletics 1
Padres 7, Dodgers 1
Giants 12, Rockies 3
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.
Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”
Here’s the video.