With the off day there was not much news on the Cardinals’ closer front yesterday, but Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch did track down GM John Mozeliak, who confirmed that he’s not looking at making a deal at the moment:
“Right now, (Franklin) is going through some tough times and we’ve got to figure out a way to work through it. There’s not a whole lot you can do. Either he has more success, or somebody else gets the opportunity … all the options are internal.”
Those internal options include Mitchell Boggs, Miguel Batista Jason Motte and, if La Russa is willing to take a risk, Eduardo Sanchez. I’d go with either Boggs or Sanchez because it would be nice to have a closer who actually strikes guys out and isn’t prone to the gopher ball, but you can’t really predict what Tony La Russa will do.
Remember, the Cardinals won a World Series in 2006 with Adam Wainwright as their closer, and he had never really pitched from the pen before that. Anything is possible with Tony.
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
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As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.
After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.