Minnesota’s chances of getting something for Matt Capps at the trade deadline took a hit yesterday, as the Twins announced that the closer is headed for the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
Capps stayed on the active roster for more than a week while hurt and then looked terrible in one appearance, at which point the Twins finally decided to shut him down.
Left-hander Glen Perkins is the obvious choice to step into the closer role, but yesterday manager Ron Gardenhire turned to right-hander Jared Burton to close out a 4-3 game against a right-handed heavy portion of the Reds’ lineup.
Gardenhire has always preferred a set closer, so it’ll be interesting to see if he continues to use a closer-by-committee approach based on matchups while Capps is out. It’s tough to go wrong with Perkins or Burton considering how well they’ve both pitched in setup roles.
I broke down the Twins’ bullpen situation much further on yesterday’s “Gleeman and The Geek” show.
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.
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.