Jose Guillen is one of the many, many guys who wouldn’t be nearly as maligned as he is if it weren’t for his contract. I mean, no, he’s no great shakes, but if he was doing one year deals for reasonable money every winter no one would be saying bad things about him. Well, not many bad things about him. He’s been useful at times, and I kinda feel bad when people go after guys like him simply because Dayton Moore decided to overpay him. Even when I do it, which I’m sure I have before.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that, assuming no one makes a deal for him in the next nine days, some team is going to be able to sign him for peanuts after the Royals release him. I had half a thought yesterday that Atlanta might be one of those teams because they could still use an outfield bat. I think Frank Wren knows, however, that he’ll lose the entire fan base if he trots out 2/3 of the 2010 Kansas City Royals’ outfield in the middle of a pennant race. The messaging is just wrong, ya know?
But the Yankees and Giants don’t seem to mind: each of them is reported to be at least somewhat interested in the guy. Which is a bit funny because (a) the Yankees have brought in something like 248 extra position players in the past week, so I’m not sure whose place Guillen would take; and (b) the Giants are already running Pat Burrell out to left field, so why would they want to add another frequently-gimpy and none-too-fabulous outfielder?
But the point is made: without the $12 million albatross hanging around his neck, Guillen is at least moderately desirable and could very well wind up with his 10th team sometime this month.
Aaron Judge may be the talk of the town right now, but let’s not forget some of Major League Baseball’s more established sluggers. Take the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, for instance, who jumped on a full count during the first inning of Saturday’s game and postmarked the ball to the center field concourse in Chase Field.
Harper’s mammoth hit was the first career home run allowed by Diamondbacks’ rookie Anthony Banda. Banda quickly recovered with an inning-ending strikeout to Ryan Zimmerman, but was booted from his big league debut after Harper, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon combined for a three-run spread in the sixth.
The first-inning homer also served another purpose: it extended Harper’s hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in MLB this season. He’ll need four more games to tie the 19-game streak Royals’ infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield established back in June.
The Nationals currently lead the Diamondbacks 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Rangers’ right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez is slated for Tommy John surgery, according to a report by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day disabled list back in early April with a partial UCL tear and was working towards a throwing program before getting sidelined with more elbow pain. He’s expected to miss the entirety of the 2018 season while recovering from the surgery.
This is the second straight season that has been derailed for Gonzalez due to injury. The 25-year-old starter pitched just 10 1/3 innings in 2016 after recovering from a torn UCL, and was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to finish out the year after compiling an 8.71 ERA, 7.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 in three starts with the club. He showed more promise in Triple-A with a 4.70 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 5.9 SO/9 through 24 starts and 138 innings.
It’s a tough blow for the Rangers, who have seen Gonzalez healthy in just one major league season to date. General manager Jon Daniels told reporters that a recent MRI showed signs of weakening in the ligament, which disrupted the team’s plans to have the right-hander stick to a six- to eight-week recovery timetable after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection (via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). The surgery is expected to take place next week and will put Gonzalez’s earliest return date sometime in September 2018.