This is not exactly how I envisioned Atlanta fixing its outfield problem: the Braves claimed OF Joe Mather off waivers from the Cardinals. He hit a lusty.217 with three RBI in 60 at-bats with the Cardinals last year.
OK, I’m just being grumpy. I know that the Braves don’t think of him as a starter. If he even makes the team it will be as a utility guy, what with his ability to play first, third and all three outfield positions. Kind of a more flexible Eric Hinske or something.
One thing I didn’t need to hear out of all of this is Derrick Goold’s tweet a few minutes ago about how the Braves once tried to trade for Mather before, offering up — wait for it — Rafael Soriano for him. I mean, we saw just how little the Braves would take for Soriano last winter when he was traded for belly button lint, but I’d prefer not to be reminded just how little they valued the guy, ya know?
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.
Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.
Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.
None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.