I wouldn’t say it unless it was true.
You might remember that Jose Reyes was called out while trying for a triple last Wednesday night against the Nationals. It was one of the worst calls in recent memory, as Reyes never took his hand off the third base bag, but Tom Van Riper of Forbes saw the play as an opportunity to chuck spitballs at the shortstops’s entire major league career.
The triple/ non-triple against the Nationals had all the elements of Reyes’ eight-year career: strong bat smoking a ball up the gap, explosive speed getting him to third, only to wind up back in the dugout thanks to a lack of brains. The sad part was how predictable the play was. Scintillating as he is to watch when he’s going well, Reyes has never really learned how to play the game.
Yes, let’s blame Reyes for Marvin Hudson’s complete and total ineptitude. And what if Reyes was called safe there? I guess Van Riper would have said he was just lucky.
Unfortunately Van Riper’s commentary is par for the course among those who blame Reyes, David Wright and Carlos Beltran for the team’s failings since the 2006 NLCS, despite each of them being among the best position players in the history of the entire franchise. Folks like Van Riper shouldn’t be ignored, but highlighted for their complete lack of understanding.
(Hat-tip to friend of the blog Ted Berg of Tedquarters for bringing this to my attention)
The White Sox have traded multiple relievers recently. They just traded another, sending lefty Dan Jennings to the Rays for first baseman Casey Gillaspie.
Jennings has a 3.45 ERA and a 38/19 K/BB ratio in 44.1 innings. He’ll likely serve as a setup man with Tampa Bay. He’s more than a rental, as he’s under team control for two more years.
Gillaspie, 24, is hitting .227/.296/.357 with nine home runs in 395 plate appearances at Triple-A. He hit much better in 2016 at Triple-A, however, and made it on some top-100 prospects lists. What the White Sox’ plans for him are with Jose Abreu around, however, are unclear.
The Atlanta Braves have optioned shortstop Dansby Swanson to Triple-A Gwinnett.
It was a move that was a long time coming. It was probably overdue. Swanson had been relegated to a backup role since the All-Star break, and him neither (a) contributing to the club; or (b) getting regular work in order to develop as a player, was the least optimal of situations.
Swanson has had a down, momentarily up, and then down again season. He batted .156 in April and .216 in May. He rebounded in June, batting .306, but his July has been a nightmare in which he has gone 6-for-48 with only five walks. He has started just six of the Braves 13 games since the All-Star break, losing time to Johan Camargo.
Swanson, 23, jumped from Double-A to the big club in August of last year and hit .302 with an .803 OPS over 38 games. That earned him the shortstop job heading into 2017, but he’s obviously in need of either more seasoning or, at the very least, some time to clear his head, because he’s not getting the job done.