Jeff Francoeur had some really nice words to say about Bobby Cox in the AJC. So nice that I’m not even going to rip on Francoeur for anything.
And funny too. Francoeur tells a story about the first time he was ever ejected from a game. It was early 2006. As soon as Frenchie got tossed, Bobby got tossed. The two of them were sitting in the clubhouse together. Frenchie was worked up. He asked Cox what he should do. After Cox told him to chill out and have a beer, he said that he’d probably have to pay a fine:
“And then you’ll probably have to write a $500 check. Or you can do what
I do, write a $10,000 one and tell them when it runs out, let me know.”
Cox has 158 career ejections. I’d like him to get four more in his last few games so he can have a whole season’s worth of them, but I suppose he’s done enough to advance the interests of umpire antagonism in his time.
Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.
It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.
Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.