Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and young center fielder Colby Rasmus had a well-chronicled falling out in the middle of the 2010 season. Rasmus felt like he wasn’t being treated as an everyday player, La Russa didn’t like that a young player was being so vocal. Etcetera.
It got ugly at one point, apparently, and the 24-year-old Rasmus requested a trade to another organization while the Cards were playing a series at Chicago’s Wrigley Field in late July. The two have since mended their relationship and appear likely to return together for another season in St. Louis, but that won’t stop rumors linking the ultra-talented Rasmus to other clubs.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times heard from a scout Friday that White Sox GM Kenny Williams has “targeted” Rasmus and is willing to deal Carlos Quentin in a package for him. The scout said that the Cardinals have expressed interest in Quentin, or have at least scouted him, and that “this might have been something that was already talked about.”
The rumor seems legitimate enough, but this whole report serves as a giant Exhibit A as to why Rasmus won’t be leaving St. Louis this winter. Quentin has a decent power bat, but he is four years older than the Cards center fielder, not nearly as talented defensively and entering his second year of arbitration eligibility.
Rasmus batted .276/.361/.498 with 23 homers, 66 RBI and 12 stolen bases in only 464 at-bats this past season and is under team control through 2014. For the Cards to move the youngster, they’ll have to be blown away by an offer. Quentin and a couple of throw-in prospects will not get the job done.
It’s been a strange season for Red Sox’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who lost his starting role in spring training, went 0-for-6 in three regular season appearances, and underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May. That was the last the Red Sox were supposed to hear about Sandoval until spring 2017, when he was expected to rejoin the team after a lengthy rehab stint in Florida.
On Saturday, manager John Farrell was telling a different story. Per MLB.com’s Sam Blum, Farrell hinted that Sandoval could return to the team as soon as October, albeit in a very limited capacity.
At the time of the surgery, it was all looking at the start of next Spring Training,” Farrell said. “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves here, but at the same time, we compliment him for the work he’s put in, the way he’s responded to the rehab, the way he’s worked himself into better condition. We’re staying open-minded.
If the 30-year-old does return in 2016, don’t expect him to look like the three-home run hitter of the 2012 World Series. Should the Red Sox lose another player to injury, Sandoval might be called on as a backup option, but he’s unlikely to see substantial playing time under any other circumstances. Despite making two appearances at DH in the instructional league, Sandoval has not started at third base since undergoing surgery, though Farrell noted that a return to third base would be the next logical step in his recovery process.
Sandoval has yet to hit his stride within the Red Sox’ organization after hitting career-worst numbers in 2015. According to FanGraphs, his Offensive Runs Above Average (Off) plummeted to -20.2, contributing approximately two wins fewer than the average offensive player in 2015. (The Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings held the lowest Off mark in 2015, with -26.3 runs below average.) Sandoval has not appeared in a postseason race since the Giants’ championship run in 2014.
Heading into Saturday evening, the Red Sox could clinch their spot in the postseason with a win over the Rays and an Orioles’ loss.
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: