For about three years now, the Red Sox have alternated between showing interest in Ryan Spilborghs and Chris Iannetta from the Rockies. Maybe they’ll actually get one of the two this time.
A NL source confirmed to CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam that Boston is again interested in Spilborghs and that the Rockies have a scout at Fenway Park tonight. That last part doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — it’s hard to see the Red Sox dealing someone from the current major league roster for Spilborghs — but who really knows?
Spilborghs’ trade value is as low as it’s ever been. He’s hit just .223/.303/.324 with three homers in 179 at-bats this season, and he’s at a totally unacceptable .135/.196/.202 in 89 at-bats away from Coors Field.
Still, the 31-year-old Spilborghs has turned in a few excellent seasons as a part-timer. He finished with OPSs of .848 in 2007, .875 in 2008 and .797 last year while averaging about 270 at-bats per season. He’s used most often against lefties, but he hit righties just fine, too, with a career .751 OPS (.811 versus southpaws).
If the Red Sox get him, it would like to be serve as a right fielder against left-handers. Both Josh Reddick and J.D. Drew are left-handed hitters and Darnell McDonald has been a pretty big bust in his chances to face lefties this season, though he has picked it up of late.
The Red Sox, though, wouldn’t give up much for him. While Spilborghs is under control for next year, he’ll cost a bit more than $2 million in arbitation, so he would be a non-tender candidate. The Rockies would have been far more likely to get a legitimate prospect for him had they moved him last year.
Update: McAdam added some clarification on his previous tweet:
Should have made clear: Rockies scout at Fenway not looking for return on a Spilborghs deal. Would be mid-level prospect only on exchange
The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.
It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:
On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:
“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”
Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.
A couple of weeks ago our president wrote one of his more . . . vexing tweets. He was talking about immigration when he whipped out the phrase . . . “Easy D”:
No one was quite sure what he meant by Easy D. Was it the older brother of N.W.A.’s founder? The third sequel to that Emma Stone movie from a few years back? So many questions!
Baseball Twitter had fun with it, though, with a lot of people wondering how they could work it in casually to their commentary:
It wasn’t a scout who did it, but twelve days after that, a player obliged Mr. McCullough:
I have no more idea what Turner was talking about with that than Trump was. We’ll have to wait for the full story in the L.A. Times. But I am going to assume Turner was doing McCullough a solid with that one rather than commenting on the president’s tweet. Either way, I’m glad he made the effort.
And before you ask: yes, it’s a slow news day.