Next season probably isn’t even on Tony La Russa’s mind right now, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the 67-year-old manager and the Cardinals must both decide whether to exercise their half of a mutual contract option within two weeks of the World Series ending.
When asked if he knew La Russa’s plans, general manager John Mozeliak said: “I think I have an idea of his thinking.”
Strauss quotes “many close to La Russa” as saying they expect him to return for a 17th season with the Cardinals regardless of what happens in the World Series and Mozeliak pointed out that “he does appear to be having fun … enjoying this run and enjoying this team.”
La Russa is also just 35 wins from passing John McGraw for second place on the all-time list behind Connie Mack and would likely receive a raise from his current $5 million salary, which is already the highest in baseball.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.