And now your semi-annual reminder that Tropicana Field is really not fit for the playing of professional baseball games:
The Tampa Bay Rays’ second baseman hit a ball in the eighth inning of Sunday night’s game against Boston that broke a light on an overhanging catwalk down the third-base line. Parts of the light dropped to the playing surface in foul ground between third base and the Boston bullpen. No one was hit by the debris, which took around three minutes to clean up.
Three minutes in a nearly six-hour game doesn’t really make much of a difference, but man, it’s always wacky whenever we’re reminded that we have a major league ballpark that was built in such a way that it cannot properly accommodate batted baseballs.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.