Rangers manager Ron Washington told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas earlier today that Yorvit Torrealba will likely start behind the plate for Game 3 of the World Series tomorrow night against the Cardinals.
Mike Napoli, who caught the first two games of the series, is expected to move over to first base while Michael Young will serve as the designated hitter under American League rules.
Torrealba didn’t play in St. Louis because they didn’t want to lose either Young or Napoli in the lineup, but Washington believes his knowledge of the National League could come in handy.
“He’s been sharing things in meetings and I think we’ve seen results of that in Games 1 and 2,” Washington said. “I want to get him a game out there.”
Torrealba, who signed a two-year, $6.25 million contract with the Rangers last November, has spent 10 of his 12 major league seasons in the National League. The 32-year-old backstop is 4-for-13 (.308) with one double this postseason after hitting .273/.306/.399 with seven homers and a .705 OPS during the regular season.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.