UPDATE: I guess the “statement” only lasted so long. Bottom of the eighth and Mark Teixeira just deposited a Daniel Bard fastball to the upper deck in right field. You may now exhale, Mr. Papelbon.
4:54: P.M.: Daniel Bard just came into the Yankees-Red Sox game in the bottom of the seventh with the Sox leading 2-0, the bases loaded, one out and Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher coming to bat.
Bards threw six pitches, all fastballs, clocking in at 97, 99, 98, 98, 97 and 99. Strike, strike, strike, strike, strike, strike.
I don’t know if the Red Sox season is truly over or not. But if it isn’t, and if they somehow manage to make it into the playoffs, I can’t help but think this moment will be remembered.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.