Most of the focus on the “home run sculpture” in left-center field at the Marlins’ new ballpark has been on the garish look, but multiple players have expressed concern that it could also make things difficult on left-handed hitters trying to, you know, see the baseball.
For instance, Greg Dobbs told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:
If it is an issue, it can no longer be there. I won’t be the only left-handed hitter saying something. If other teams have a problem with it, they’re definitely going to voice their concern to the league.
And now here’s John Buck:
It’s kind of my job to scope those things out. It might be close. It might be all right. I don’t know. We’ll see. I think for left-handed batters it might be trouble.
Marlins president David Samson predictably said it’s “not an issue whatsoever.” Tomorrow night is the first exhibition game at Marlins Park, so if the hitters have trouble picking up the ball against University of Miami pitchers you can expect it to become “an issue.”
The Giants beat the Cardinals on Saturday night, but there was some grumpiness between a couple of Giants players all the same.
As Hank Shulman reports, late in the 13-inning game Fox TV cameras caught catcher Buster Posey yelling at first baseman Belt after Stephen Piscotty of the Cardinals stole second base. Then, after the final out, there was a brief, cold stare down between the teammates. The issue would appear to be Posey being upset with Belt for not holding Piscotty close at first base and then Belt being upset with Posey for calling him out in front of God and the fans and the TV cameras and everyone.
Neither Posey nor Belt would talk about it to reporters afterwards or on Sunday, saying the matter was between them and that they’d deal with it privately. Which is a smart move.
Of course, if Posey heeded that advice beforehand and took up his dissatisfaction with Belt in private, the reporters wouldn’t have even known about it in the first place.
The Yankees probably have the best minor league system in baseball right now and the best player in that system is, without question, shortstop Gleyber Torres. Now that top prospect is a step closet to the Bronx: he has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees don’t rush their prospects anywhere nearly as fast as a lot of teams do, but Torres, who is only 20, proved himself to be ready for the promotion. In 32 games at Double-A Trenton this year he hit .273/.367/.496 in 139 plate appearances. That OPS is almost 100 points higher than that which he posted in high A-ball in 2016.
Torres came over to the Yankees from the Cubs organization in the Aroldis Chapman trade last summer. At this rate he’ll be playing shortstop behind Chapman in New York before too long.