It’s not clear who will get the most reps at short in Boston this year. But yesterday Reds Sox’ manager Bobby Valentine said that Mike Aviles has the “DNA” of an everyday shortstop.
Fact: Mike Aviles was born in New York City in the spring of 1981. Fact: the “everyday shortstop” of the Yankees at the time of Aviles’ conception was Bucky Dent.
Theory: If Aviles has the DNA of an everyday shortstop, that must mean* that Bucky Dent is his real father, and Aviles has now been delivered to Boston as part of a generations-spanning plot by Bucky Dent to punish the Red Sox even further than he already has.
Unless of course he plays really well, in which case it is Bucky Dent making amends with Red Sox fans for that home run he hit in 1978.
Or it’s possible that Aviles is actually the son of Frank Taveras, who started 141 games at short for the Mets in 1980. But such speculation would be silly.
*Note: it must not mean any of this actually.
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.
For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.
After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:
“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”
Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:
We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.