White Sox starter Mark Buehrle is the anti-Michael Vick. Or, the opposite of what Vick used to be.
According to Terry Hillig of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Buehrle has offered to pay any uncovered medical expenses for a dog who was found stranded in southern Illinois this weekend with an arrow in its abdomen.
The arrow, presumably shot from a deer hunting bow, caused severe damage to the four-year-old dog’s spleen and part of its intestines, but there’s a good chance for a full recovery.
Buehrle is a native of St. Charles, MO, a western suburb of St. Louis. It just so happens that he was mentioned this morning in Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes column in the Boston Globe. The White Sox are apparently listening to offers for the left-hander, who will hit free agency after the 2011 season.
Buehrle, 31, went 13-13 with a 4.28 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 33 starts in 2010, fanning 99 batters and walking 49 across 210.1 innings. He also won a second straight Gold Glove.
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.