Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz gave his take on the Jorge Posada mess Saturday night to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald:
“You want me to tell you what I think? They’re doing that guy wrong. They’re doing him wrong. Know why? Because that guy, he’s legendary right there in the organization. And, dude, DHing sucks. DHing, it’s not easy. From what I heard, they told him from the very beginning, he’s not even going to catch bullpens. That, straight up, starts messing with your head. You’re going tell me Posada can’t catch a game out there? Come on. I guarantee you, they throw him out there once in a while, mentally, it’s going to help him out. Because he’s just not thinking about hitting. He’s a DH. When you just think about hitting and you’re not hitting, it sucks. It sucks.”
Ortiz did not defend Posada’s decision to remove himself from the Yankees’ lineup, saying “No, you don’t do that.” But Ortiz, who’s had plenty of struggles of his own in his mid-30s, can understand the frustration.
And maybe Big Papi has a point. Posada clearly isn’t comfortable serving only as a designated hitter, so why not tweak the strategy? Why not help him try to right himself with a game or two behind the plate? Posada’s actions Saturday night were indefensible given the kind of money he makes, but something has to be done.
Diamondbacks’ left-hander Anthony Banda is set to make his big league debut on Saturday, per a team announcement. The Diamondbacks recalled the southpaw from Triple-A Reno prior to the game after Taijuan Walker was placed on paternity leave.
It’s been a rough season for the club’s top prospect, who enters Saturday’s contest with a 5.08 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 over his first 101 innings in Triple-A this season. The 23-year-old lefty carries a 7-5 record through his first 18 starts and is coming off of his worst outing of the year, during which he issued 15 hits, seven runs and just one strikeout against the Angels-affiliated Salt Lake Bees.
Facing Banda is Nationals’ right-hander Tanner Roark, who owns a 4.98 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 through 106 2/3 innings in 2017. Roark pitched a respectable six innings in his last start, scattering four hits, three runs and five strikeouts en route to his seventh win of the season. He also has the added benefit of pitching behind one of the league’s most potent offenses, and boasts a hefty run support average of 5.68 runs per game.
The D-backs currently lead the Nationals, 1-0, and will face off for their second game at 8:10 ET on Saturday night.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Dodgers are “exploring a possible deal” for Mets’ right-hander Addison Reed. It’s not the first time the righty has incurred interest from a top contender. The Brewers, Yankees and Red Sox are all supposedly in on Reed, and Newsday’s Marc Carig adds that up to half a dozen teams have already made inquiries prior to the trade deadline.
Reed, 28, is currently in his third campaign with the Mets. He’s coming off of a career-best performance in 2016, during which he looked nearly unhittable with a 1.97 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.5 SO/9 through 77 2/3 innings. His numbers have regressed a little in 2017, but he’s still working with 16 saves and a solid 2.35 ERA, 1.2 BB/9 and 9.2 SO/9 through his first 46 innings.
While there’s no doubt Reed would help stabilize any bullpen he’s dealt to, the Dodgers may have less of a prominent position to offer the right-hander. Kenley Jansen has already locked down the closing role in Los Angeles, which would likely see Reed in some kind of set-up role as he finishes his last season before hitting free agency.