Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero started spring training off positively, answering the one question that many had about him: can the guy play defense? At least he answered it in the first couple of weeks down in Tampa, where he was reportedly solid behind the dish. Since then, however, he has regressed, Brian Cashman tells the Daily News, and he’s neither playing good defense nor hitting. It’s being suggested, therefore, that he be sent down to Scranton to begin the year.
The suspicion is that if Montero doesn’t make the club that Austin Romine would be Russell Martin’s backup. But Romine is hitting worse than Montero is. Given that he’s had less success at similar levels than Montero — and given that he has yet to play a game above AA — you’d think that he could use more starting time at Scranton to develop than Montero does. But really, there are no good options here.
Anyone got Bengie Molina’s number?
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.