Hello friends. And That Happened is coming this morning, but it will be a bit delayed. The reason: those two to the right. For those who don’t know, the green fellow is Ballapeno, the mascot of the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League. The other fellow is the unfortunately named Henry the Puffy Taco. He’s like a secondary mascot. Or tertiary. There’s a big bag of groceries mascot too. Don’t ask.
Point is, I’m in San Antonio, Texas and last night I took in the Springfield Cardinals vs. San Antonio Missions game. It was sweet, even if the Missions lost. And after it was over we stopped at a taco truck because Texas is awesome like that. And it was a somewhat late night and I’m now on Central Time for the next few days, so the usual 5:58 AM And That Happened will be a bit delayed.
The rest of the day will be normal. Well, except for the fact that you can’t get Henry the Puffy Taco out of your head now. And you never, ever will be able to.
Oh, and I bought Mookie and Carlo a stuffed Ballapeno. I didn’t dare buy them a stuffed Henry the Puffy Taco.
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.