On this day of rest, let us take a sneak peak at what basically every post on HBT will look like between November and February:
Andrew Baggarly reports that Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy have already reached out to Scott Boras “to let him know the Giants are very much interested” in re-signing Carlos Beltran. Baggarly doesn’t think the Giants can outbid a team willing to go big with Beltran — and of course a Boras client is going to test the market — but that there is mutual interest in getting a deal done at present.
Oh, and from the same column, here’s a sneak preview for next February:
“[Aubrey] Huff was out of shape. He told Bochy he was embarrassed. And he won’t get the same rope next season. He’ll have to be ready to play the outfield, too. “Aubrey knows it’s going to be different. That can’t happen again or you’ve got to make changes,” Bochy said.”
I think I’ll write my “Aubrey Huff is in the best shape of his life” post now and post-date it for the start of spring training.
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.