Just as I was surprised that there is controversy over the Giants starting Madison Bumgarner over Barry Zito, I’m surprised that there’s controversy over the Rangers starting Jorge Cantu over Mitch Moreland at first base tonight against David Price. But apparently there is:
When the sun went down on Monday, Rangers manager Ron W ashington was undecided as to who would play first base on Tuesday night. He was leaning toward right-handed-hitting Jorge Cantu, but said he
wanted to discuss it further with hitting coach Clint Hurdle and other
“My heart wants to put Cantu in there,” Washington said. “I just have a feeling, but we’ll talk about it.”
Jorge Cantu is no great shakes against lefties: he’s a career .272/.323/.451 against them and had a bad Game 1 against David Price. But the other option — Mitch Moreland — hit .200/.304/.300 against them in limited play this year. In light of that, you have to start Cantu, don’t you? Why must Washington rely on his heart?
Or did someone just decide that today is non-controversial controversies day?
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.