Still reeling from that trade last night. Unlike some deals that are rumored for several hours or days, this one sprung from the head of Zeus, fully-formed, in almost no time. And also unlike so many other deals this didn’t involve a salary dump. The M’s had a stud pitcher and needed a bat. The Yankee had a stud hitting prospect and needed an arm. It was so … simple.
The hardest part of this deal is where to play Jesus Montero when he shows up to camp next month.
Montero has only caught and DH’d in the Yankees system. And his catching, according to the Yankees and from what people who have seen him play have surmised, is poor. That only leaves a couple of options.
Designated hitter is one. However, one would normally want to avoid putting a young guy like Montero in the DH slot now because once someone DHs they tend to always DH. The other obvious option is first base. Except the M’s, however devoid of hitting talent they are, have two servicable options at first in Justin Smoak and Mike Carp. And even if Montero’s future is at first, the M’s are going to want to play Smoak and/or Carp for a while if, for no other reason, than to showcase them for a trade.
Personally, I’d hire the best catching guru I could find to work with Montero and get him into as good as defensive shape as I could and let him catch all year. If the M’s are not optimistic about his defense, however, or if they’re too tied to Miguel Olivo or whoever, fine, let him DH but think about a future when he can slide to first base.
Either way, this is all a bit of a problem. Although, inasmuch it has been a long time since the Mariners have had a good bat they had to figure out how to fit into the lineup, it’s an admittedly nice problem to have.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.