Orioles continue to show heavy interest in Mark Reynolds

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Desperate to add a power bat to their light-hitting lineups, the Orioles, Padres and Blue Jays have expressed interest this offseason in trading for Diamondbacks slugger Mark Reynolds.

Reynolds tallied 32 home runs in 2010 and a career-high 44 in 2009, but he’s the only player in major league history to amass 200 strikeouts in a season and he’s done that now for three straight years.  According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, that’s not deterring the Orioles, who are now heavily intrigued at the possibility of landing the third baseman while the Jays and Pads have backed off.

Reynolds has poor range at third base and is owed around $23.5 million through the 2013 season.  His strikeout rates won’t get any better with a move to the American League East and the O’s will almost certainly have to fork over a respectable prospect to acquire him.

Yes, it’s possible that the 27-year-old might improve his plate discipline and flourish in the cozy confines of Camden Yards, but Baltimore should know better than to make a desperation trade.  If the Orioles are going to catch up to the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays — heck, even the Blue Jays — they must do it through the draft and through the cultivation of what looks to be a healthy farm system.  Allowing Arizona to pluck a name or two from that system would seem to be a step in the wrong direction.

Angel Hernandez made a great call on a tough play

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Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.

With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.

The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:

Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab of Andrew Knapp‘s face mask when the catcher tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:

Yoenis Cespedes leaves game with pulled hamstring

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The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.

First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:

The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.

Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.