Bobby Abreu had the worst season of his career in 2011 and then went 5-for-24 (.208) in limited playing time early on this season, causing many to conclude that the 38-year-old was washed up and getting him released by the Angels.
Abreu hooked on with the Dodgers two weeks ago, first as a part-time player and now as a starter following injuries in the outfield, and he’s looked nothing like the guy who played his way out of the Angels’ plans.
Abreu went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple last night, making him 11-for-35 (.314) with six extra-base hits in 12 games for the Dodgers. By comparison, dating back to last season Abreu had a total of six extra-base hits in his final 21 games for the Angels while batting .235.
As the Dodgers look to stay atop the NL West minus Matt Kemp suddenly Abreu is looking like a key contributor.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.