This decision was something of a no-brainer, but according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Russell Branyan will be on the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day roster.
Branyan, who could have opted out of his minor league contract yesterday, is batting .420 (21-for-50) with four home runs, three doubles and 17 RBI this spring.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson likes what he’s seeing from his new slugger, but he isn’t ready to say where Branyan will fit in his lineup.
“Haven’t determined that yet,” he said. “(Branyan) may, he may not (get his share of starts). I don’t know what to tell you about how the mix will go.”
The most likely scenario is that Branyan will share at-bats with Juan Miranda at first base. Brandon Allen, who has options remaining, could be sent to Triple-A Reno.
Branyan, 35, batted .237/.323/.487 with 25 homers and 57 RBI over 428 plate appearances between the Indians and Mariners last season. Assuming he can stay healthy, he’s going to enjoy life in Chase Field.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: