Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin was on WTMJ radio today and was asked about the Nyjer Morgan/Albert Pujols business from last night. Summary here, actual broadcast here. Upshot: He’s not happy. He said that manager Ron Roenicke is going to deal with Morgan “internally,” and likely not by giving him a firm handshake and an “‘attaboy.” He was also asked about Morgan’s lame tweets about “Alberta” Pujols after the game:
“The whole tweeting thing in sports is probably something that needs to be addressed,” said Melvin. “But it’s out there and we have to deal with it.”
Just to be clear, for the 100th time, the problem is not with tweeting itself. The problem is with people — especially notable public figures like Morgan — who don’t understand that tweeting something is the same thing as saying something into a the microphone of Chuck Chuckson from Action 9 Sports. Impress that upon the minds of your players and then treat them exactly like you’d treat anyone who said stupid crap to a reporter after the game.
As for Morgan, the thing I wonder the most about is his self-awareness. He’s having a great season, but he’s also capable of having crap seasons too. A variable player who is no doubt playing in some good luck this year. History is littered with people who can get away with anything when they’re successful, but whose act grows tired fast the moment they stop being successful.
You’d think that, in light of that, Morgan would dial it back a bit. I mean, if you’re Albert Pujols or someone super awesome and consistent like that you can afford to be a jerk sometimes. If you’re not, you can’t.
Oh wait. Albert Pujols is never a jerk like that. Maybe there’s a lesson in that too.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.