Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings technically made his major league debut during the 2010 season, but Saturday evening felt like his true arrival.
The 24-year-old was promoted from Triple-A Durham late Friday night and got to work immediately in Saturday’s game against the Royals.
Jennings led off the contest with a first-inning triple to deep left-center field, smacked an RBI double in the second inning, drew an intentional walk in the fourth inning, and then scored after drawing another walk in the sixth inning. All in all, the promising young speedster stole one base, scored two runs, drove in one run, and provided a welcome spark at the top of the Tampa Bay lineup.
Kansas City eventually won in extra innings courtesy of an Eric Homser walkoff RBI double.
Jennings is expected to see regular playing time down the stretch and should be a mainstay on highlight reel shows for years to come. He had an .825 career OPS in the minors and 188 steals in 222 attempts.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.