As first reported by Jason Beck of MLB.com, the Twins have claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Tigers. Scott Baker was transferred the 60-day disabled list in order to clear a spot on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but they still need to make a corresponding roster move to add him to the active roster.
Thomas owns a .253/.336/.391 batting line over 443 plate appearances in the majors, but he hasn’t really done anything at the big league level since 2009. The 28-year-old missed most of the 2010 season following knee surgery and spent the entire 2011 season with Triple-A Toledo. He appeared in three games with the Tigers this season before being designated for assignment on Wednesday, but didn’t have a plate appearance.
It seems like a pretty boring transaction on the surface, but since Thomas is capable of playing center field, one wonders if the Twins will be inclined to send Ben Revere down the minors. The 23-year-old only has 11 at-bats entering today’s action, so it might be best for him to be in a position to play everyday.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.