The Tigers have activated Austin Jackson from the 15-day disabled list. He’ll start in center field and bat leadoff this afternoon against the Reds.
Jackson has been sidelined since May 16 due to abdominal strain. He went 1-for-8 with two strikeout and a walk during a brief two-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo and played all nine innings in center field in both games.
Jackson was making some major strides offensively prior to the injury, hitting .331/.414/.544 with five homers, 17 RBI, six stolen bases and a .958 OPS in 36 games. While that’s a small sample, his contact and walk rates are both up so far this year and he has cut down on his strikeouts significantly.
Quintin Berry batted .288 (19-for-66) with a .356 on-base percentage and seven stolen bases while filling in for Jackson, but the 27-year-old speedster will now likely be pushed into a part-time or bench role.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: