It never came to blows between the Red Sox and Yankees this week, but it almost did with the Tribe in town tonight. After Fausto Carmona hit Mark Teixeira with a pitch in the second inning, the benches and the bullpens emptied, though no blows were exchanged.
The Indians were down 4-0 when a wild Carmona drilled Teixeira. The previous batter, Curtis Granderson, had just homered. There probably wasn’t a whole lot of intention on Carmona’s part. He struggled with his control right from the start tonight, walking three batters in the first inning.
But intentional or not, Teixeira did take offense. He had just just gotten hit by the Red Sox on Tuesday, knocking him out of the game with a bruised knee. Carmona’s plunking made it seven HBPs for him this season, and while Teixeira has always crowded the plate, that’s well ahead of his usual pace. His career high for HBPs is 14, established in his rookie season in 2003. He was hit 13 times last year.
Carmona and Teixeira jawed afterwards, and while it didn’t seem like anyone on either team wanted to throw a punch, managers Manny Acta and Joe Girardi got into a very heated discussion in the middle of the infield before things eventually calmed down.
This is just the opener of a four-game series, so there could be more to come.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.