No love lost between Bengie Molina and Brian Sabean

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I missed this last week, but apparently Brian Sabean said that he had planned on trading Bengie Molina all along:

Giants GM Brian Sabean revealed Wednesday that he knew from the moment he signed Molina that the club would trade him later in the summer . . . “That was the plan almost going all the way back to the winter meetings (in December). We were fortuitous that Bengie turned down the Mets and signed with us. But (if not), we would’ve signed another catcher and lined it up the same way, because Buster wasn’t ready.”

This did not sit well with Molina, who had this to say to the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday:

“That tells you what a person he is, I guess. He never tells me anything. I wish he would have told me before they signed me. I would not have signed.”
On the one hand I want to take Molina’s side here. We have ample evidence that Sabean is both not-well-liked among his peers and is not the most considerate boss on the planet, and ample evidence that Molina is a hell of a guy. If it comes down to those two, I’m on Team Bengie seven days a week.
On the other hand, if you’re Bengie Molina — or especially if you’re Bengie Molina’s agent — how can you not assume that, given the presence of a phenom catcher in Posey, that Molina was not going to be trade bait prior to signing last winter? From the moment Molina hit free agency people assumed that he was a short-timer in San Francisco if he came back. People even wondered whether he wasn’t destined to be the backup right out of spring training. Given that he still had defensive value, it seemed inevitable that he would be shopped, barring injury.  He’s a smart guy, so he had to know that too.
So, I feel ya, Bengie. I really do. Sabean is kind of a jerk. But in this case you don’t have a ton of room to be hurt.

Kris Bryant on Joey Votto: “He’s the best player ever … He’s a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

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The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.

As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”

Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”

Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.

Video: Daniel Descalso hits D-Backs’ third inside-the-park homer of the season

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Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.

It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.

As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.