Since opening the season at .396/.431/.604 through April 18, Sam Fuld has hit .145/.232/.210 in 62 at-bats over this last 15 games. He’s 3-for-41 in his last 10 games.
And this is closer to what should have expected from Fuld. The 29-year-old was a career .278/.368/.400 hitter in 230 Triple-A games. No one ever thought of him as more than a fourth outfielder, and really, he’ll be fortuante to last four or five seasons as a reserve.
So maybe it’s time for the Rays to try Desmond Jennings, the top prospect many hoped they’d call up after Manny Ramirez retired. Jennings is hitting .273/.397/.414 in 99 at-bats in Triple-A. That he’s struck out 24 times already is worthy of concern. But Jennings is an excellent defensive outfielder, and he’s 8-for-8 stealing bases.
Since Jennings spent last September on the Rays roster accruing service time, the team would need to wait until July to call him up in order to guarantee that wouldn’t be a super-two arbitration-eligible player after 2013. That’s too long to go, though. Jennings should provide an immediate upgrade over Fuld once the Rays make the switch, and it might happen within the next few weeks.
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.