The Rangers won’t have the benefit of the designated hitter for Games 1 and 2 of the World Series against the Cardinals, which means Michael Young will almost certainly get the nod at first base in St. Louis.
The only other realistic option is Mitch Moreland, but he is hitting just .105 (2-for-19) during the postseason. The 26-year-old has struck out in five out of his last six at-bats.
Rangers manager Ron Washington told Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com earlier today that Young will play, so even though he declined to name his starting first baseman, it’s fairly obvious where he’s leaning.
“In Moreland’s case, yes, he’s struggling a little bit now,” Washington said. “It comes down to just trying to get the best nine out there I possibly can on that day. I’ve made a decision, but I’m not ready to talk about it.”
Young is batting .209 (9-for-43) with eight strikeouts during the postseason, but finally busted out in the Game 6 clincher against the Tigers on Saturday night, going 3-for-6 with a home run, two doubles and five RBI. The 34-year-old started 36 games at first base during the regular season and four during the ALDS and ALCS.
Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.
Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.
Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.
Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.
Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.