I don’t know if Bobby Valentine will be as good a manager for the Red Sox as Terry Francona was. But I do get the sense that he’ll be more fun to have around. Because of fun stuff like this, when asked by Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York to comment on the Yankees’ trade for Michael Pineda and the signing of Hiroki Kuroda:
“They’re probably an upgrade from Colon and Garcia. Probably. I don’t know. It seems it … Pineda, when I saw him the first half, he looked unhittable. Second half, he looked OK.” [The Mariners] saw a lot of him and they traded him. Kuroda is a good pitcher — a year older than he was last year, pitching in the American League and not the National League, pitching in not a great pitcher’s ballpark from a great pitcher’s ballpark.”
All true statements. But all offered with the intention of being something of a pain to Yankees fans, I think. Or at least want to think.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.