I, and many others, chided Charlie Manuel last week over his decision to not use Jonathan Papelbon in tie games on the road. And not just Manuel. Most managers refuse to do it, elevating the save statistic above smart personnel deployment and causing their teams to lose games they didn’t have to lose by putting in their inferior relievers when a game is on the line.
Well, the conventional wisdom brigade is laughing now, because Astros manager Brad Mills just put his closer, Brett Myers, into a 3-3 game in the 10th inning in Philadelphia. And he promptly gave up a walkoff home run to Hunter Pence. Phillies win, 4-3.
Here’s an exclusive look-in at the Astros’ clubhouse right now:
In Mills’ defense, can we observe that Brett Myers isn’t really a closer? No? Drat.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.