You know what 11 strikeouts in 13 World Series at-bats will get you? A new one-year contract, apparently.
According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants have re-signed Pat Burrell to a “discounted, one-year contract,” pending a physical.
To be fair, while Burrell was all sorts of awful during the postseason, he batted .266/.364/.509 with 18 home runs, 51 RBI and an 872 OPS over 289 at-bats after the Rays gave up on him in May. He was a legitimate middle-of-the-order presence for the Giants during the second half of the season, slugging 13 home runs in 198 at-bats.
You can certainly make the case that Burrell deserves a chance at a repeat, but it’s worth noting that the Giants’ lineup is looking really, really old at the moment. By Opening Day next season, Andres Torres and Freddy Sanchez will be 33, Burrell and Aubrey Huff will be 34 and Mark DeRosa and the newly-signed Miguel Tejada will be 36. Giants fans should hope that top prospect Brandon Belt tears the cover off the ball during spring training. Of course, Brian Sabean will probably find some reason to leave him in the minor leagues until around Memorial Day.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.