Bryce Harper thought he drew a 3-2 walk in the seventh inning at Double-A last night, but as he headed to first base home plate umpire Max Guyll called him out on strikes and the 18-year-old Nationals uber-prospect angrily slammed his helmet down in disgust.
Guyll immediately ejected him from the game, at which point Harper got in the umpire’s face, screaming and pointing and digging his spikes into the dirt to show where he believed the pitch crossed outside the strike zone.
Chris Knight of the Harrisburg Patriot-News snapped the fantastic face-to-face action photo you see displayed to the left and CSNWashington.com has video that shows the entire incident unfold:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Obviously this wouldn’t be any kind of story if Harper wasn’t involved, as plenty of minor leaguers are ejected in similar fashions every week, but it does play into some of the negative aspects of his reputation and the incident making headlines is part of the increased attention that comes with being a former No. 1 overall pick and the top prospect in baseball at age 18. Plus, he did kind of freak out.
For more details, check out the game story from the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.
Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.
The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.
The Rangers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million extension for second baseman Rougned Odor, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The extension comes with a club option for a seventh year, Heyman adds.
It’s close to the six-year, $52.5 million extension Jason Kipnis netted with the Indians in 2014, a sum Odor was rumored to be seeking during contract negotiations over the last two years. Granted, the circumstances are a little different this time around. Both players signed extensions on the cusp of their fourth year in the major leagues, but at 27 years old, Kipnis was coming off of an All-Star campaign and a career-high 4.5 fWAR performance. Odor, meanwhile, saw mixed results in 2016, batting 33 home runs and putting up 2.0 fWAR while struggling to stay consistent at the plate and exhibiting poor defense.
According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Odor previously agreed to a $563,180 salary for 2017. Depending on when the extension kicks in, it should cover all three of Odor’s arbitration-eligible seasons and two seasons of potential free agency. The team has yet to confirm the extension.