Remember last summer when Florida International shortstop Garrett Wittels hit in 56 straight games? And remember how the streak is still alive because his team got eliminated from the NCAA tournament? Yeah, well, he has other things on his mind at the moment:
Florida International University baseball star Garrett Wittels and a group of friends were arrested in the Bahamas last week and charged with the rape of two 17-year-old girls. The incident happened at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in Nassau on Dec. 20. Wittels and two friends were released on $10,000 bond after a court hearing Thursday.
Wittels’ father is quoted in the article saying it’s a frame-up, perpetrated by a couple of girls taking advantage of Wittels’ fame. We obviously have no idea.
Wittles stands two-games shy of Robin Ventura’s NCAA record hitting streak. It’s unclear if his arrest will have any impact on his ability to begin the 2011 season.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.