As you know by now, Chase Utley did not get hit by Aroldis Chapman last night. That’s what happens when someone throws 105 mph and we don’t have instant replay. And yeah, Utley was probably out at second base too, as evidenced by this picture here.
One thing that we can clear up, though, is that Utley did touch third base before scoring the tying run. It’s a little tough to tell from the screen grab to the right, but Scott Rolen confirmed as much to Bill Singer of MLB.com.
“I saw him touch the bag. I take a look when someone comes around third,
and he touched it, Just the corner. But that’s all you need.”
I can understand that some are asking why Utley isn’t facing the same criticism that Derek Jeter did last month, but there is one significant difference between the two events. Utley didn’t even need to state his case on the hit-by-pitch, because home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman did all the work for him. Utley just put his head down and kept going. Nothing we haven’t seen before.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.