Baseball America points out a chilling investigative report by Alicia Ortega of Noticias Sin in the Dominican Republic. Three players, one of whom was later stabbed to death, have accused powerful Domincan trainer Enrique Soto of sexually assaulting them.
Soto was arrested in January, but he was released on bond in June.
Yunior Pena Peguero was one of the players accusing Soto in Ortega’s report. He says he had received death threats as a result of coming forward, and on June 26, he was stabbed to death in Bani, which is where Soto runs his program. He said Soto sexually assaulted him at age 15, and that he later developed a drug addiction and attempted suicide. He was 22 when he was killed.
It was the accusations from the other two interviewed that resulted in Soto’s arrest in January. Neither had their names revealed in the report.
According to Baseball America, Soto has trained such major leaguers as Miguel Tejada, Erick Aybar and Willy Aybar. He has denied all of the allegations against him and says it’s part of a blackmail scheme.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.