Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel has a 4.99 career ERA and 1.47 career WHIP in the major leagues. But he’s putting on a clinic right now in Baltimore against an anemic Twins offense.
Hammel has thrown seven no-hit innings and is only up to 77 total pitches as the O’s prepare to bat in the bottom of the seventh. He’s walked two and fanned three, and allowed only two balls out of the infield.
We’ll update his progress from here on out.
UPDATE, 3:27 PM: Twins designated hitter Justin Morneau launched a double off the right field wall on the first pitch of the eighth inning. Josh Willingham followed with a double of his own, scoring Morneau and breaking up Hammel’s shot at a shutout. So much for that.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.