Carlos Beltran told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that he “would consider” re-signing with the Giants this offseason “because the pitching is unbelievable” and he’s enjoyed his time in San Francisco, but added that he’d want assurances the team would work to improve the offense around him.
San Francisco ranks dead last among NL teams with 514 runs, which is 41 runs fewer than the next-to-last Padres and 184 runs fewer than the league-leading Reds.
Beltran was acquired at midseason specifically to address the lineup’s lack of punch and has certainly done his part by hitting .320 with a .905 OPS, but he’s also missed 14 of 45 games since the trade with injuries.
It may be a moot point, of course, as Baggarly notes that the Giants’ payroll situation makes re-signing Beltran “a remote possibility” in large part because they’re still on the hook for big salaries to Aaron Rowand and Barry Zito. All of which is why the decision to trade top prospect Zack Wheeler for two months of the impending free agent was such a risky move for the Giants.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.