Juan Miranda defected from Cuba in 2004, signed with the Yankees for $2 million in 2006, and has been stuck in the minors ever since despite consistently putting up some pretty good numbers.
He may finally get an opportunity at age 29, as the Yankees have traded him to the Diamondbacks for pitching prospect Scott Allen.
Miranda has spent each of the past three seasons at Triple-A, hitting a combined .287 with a .374 on-base percentage and .481 slugging percentage in 301 games.
He’s never going to be a star, but with Adam LaRoche leaving as a free agent the left-handed-hitting Miranda could be plenty useful as a platoon first baseman who starts mostly against right-handed pitching and new Arizona general manager Kevin Towers was known for his success plucking similar players off the scrap heap in San Diego.
Allen was an 11th-round pick in 2009 and posted a mediocre 4.73 ERA in 16 starts at low Single-A this season, but his 79/22 K/BB ratio in 78 innings was very strong and at 18 years old he was very young for the level of competition. He’s not a top prospect, but from the Yankees’ point of view he certainly represents a good return for a player they were never going to use anyway.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.