With reports that shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka will be “posted” by his Japanese team later this week he’s suddenly an intriguing option in what is a pretty weak free agent market for middle infielders.
Patrick Newman, who does a great job covering Japanese baseball for NPB Tracker and Fan Graphs, has a lengthy scouting report on Nishioka that includes a comparison to Chone Figgins and Ryan Theriot.
The whole thing is definitely worth reading, but of particular note is that Newman views Nishioka as more of a second baseman than a shortstop due to his lack of arm strength. And while he’s coming off a career-year that saw him hit .346 that production was well above the 26-year-old’s previous track record and Nishioka has had a lot of trouble staying healthy.
Check out Newman’s scouting report for a lot more on Nishioka.
As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.
Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.
Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.
Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.
Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:
Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.
Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.