Aaron Hill returned from a quadriceps injury to make his spring training debut yesterday, but afterward expressed some doubt about his status for Opening Day:
It was good to get out there and see what I’ve got. I can play but it’s going to be their decision. Hopefully it will be fine by then but it will be their decision if they want to go forward with me being at 80, 90 percent. It is better for the long run to not be stupid, I guess.
Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun reports that Hill “moved at half speed coming out of the box and three-quarters speed in the infield” during yesterday’s game, and he also went 0-for-3 at the plate.
Assuming he can get healthy relatively soon Hill is a good bet for a big bounceback season, as his dreadful .205 batting average was due largely to an unsustainably awful mark on balls in play and he still managed to smack 26 homers in 528 at-bats.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was once again ejected from an NLCS game, this time in Game 4.
In the top of the eighth inning, closer Wade Davis found himself in a bit of a pickle. He gave up a leadoff home run to Justin Turner, cutting the Cubs’ lead to 3-2. Davis then walked Yasiel Puig. He was able to get Andre Ethier to pop up, bringing up Curtis Granderson. Granderson worked the count 2-2, then fouled off a pitch. And then he appeared to swing through a curve that bounced in the dirt. Catcher Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out, but Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, so it was a foul ball.
Wolf conferred with the other umpires. After a brief delay, the strikeout was overturned and Granderson was given new life in the batter’s box. Only… replays showed that Wolf got it right the first time.
Understandably, Maddon was livid. On the broadcast, one could see Maddon gesturing to the umpires to look at the replay on the video board behind the stands in left field. The argument fell on deaf ears and he was ejected. Thankfully for the Cubs, justice prevailed and Davis struck out Granderson on the next pitch.
It’ll be interesting to see if Maddon makes any political comparisons after the game. He likened the slide rule, the impetus behind his Game 1 ejection, to the soda tax.