When Lance Berkman was traded to the Yankees there were some who thought that the country boy from that little Texas town (note: Houston is the 4th largest city in America) would have a hard time adjusting. On the diamond that certainly has been the case in his first few games: he was two for his first 22 since coming over. And he was booed pretty heartily over the weekend. But Berkman is a pro and he answered questions about it in the only way you can without drawing more criticism from the New York fans and press:
“I have no credibility here. I’ve done nothing. You
have to earn the respect of the fans and you’re not going to do it by
not hitting. The only thing you’re going to have to earn is their ire. This is a big boy’s game and place to play, and if you can’t handle a little bit of that then just go home and hang it up.”
And just like that he went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI last night.
No cause or effect here. It just is what it is. I’m a pretty big Lance Berkman fan so I’m just happy to see that he’s (a) taking what has to be a pretty strange situation for him in stride; and (b) may just be breaking out of his funk at the plate.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.
Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.
It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.
Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.