Vlad Guerrero has been hitting the ball well lately, leading the charge as the Orioles have done a damn fine job of playing spoiler in the American League wild card race. Also, as Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun points out, he’s three hits behind Julio Franco for the record of most hits for a player from the Dominican Republic.
It’s enough to make the guy want to play a couple more years:
“I feel I can play two or three more years,” he said. “And I just need to work a little harder this offseason when I go to the Dominican and see what happens.”
He’s on a one-year deal with Baltimore. Overall he’s hitting .292/.320/.421 with 13 homers. The recent surge notwithstanding, it’s hard for anyone to justify giving a guy like that with no defensive value whatsoever a contract. I’m sure someone will because of the name, the fact that he’s well-liked within the game and the chance, however slight, that he still has a productive year in him. But it’s certainly not a given.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.