The Giants may finally have an excuse to try a new face in Barry Zito’s rotation spot.
According to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the left-hander suffered an injury Saturday while making a play on a Joe Saunders bunt and had to be pulled before the end of the second inning. It looked like a groin tweaking or maybe an ankle sprain, but the Giants haven’t commented yet and there’s no point in making assumptions. An update should be coming shortly.
Zito allowed three hits, a walk and two earned runs before he was pulled. He has now surrendered nine earned runs in 13 innings this season and should probably be skipped on his next turn no matter his health situation.
Ryan Vogelsong, 33, has posted a 1.59 ERA and 17/5 K/BB ratio over 11.1 innings this year at Triple-A Fresno. He hasn’t appeared in a major league game since the 2006 season when he was a member of the Pirates, but it might be time for him to get another look.
UPDATE: According to the Giants’ official Twitter feed, X-rays were negative but Zito has been diagnosed with a right mid-foot sprain. It’s not yet known how much time he could miss.
UPDATE II: Zito has now been placed on the 15-day disabled list and Vogelsong has been recalled. This according to the Giants’ official Twitter feed.
The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.
Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.
“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”
The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.
Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.