The Dutch were apparently a lot more impressed by his 12 home runs than the Yankees were.
Prior to Friday’s game at AT&T Park, Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens was presented with The Royal Decoration of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, making him the Dutch equivalent of a Knight. Apparently, the Giants have already been calling him “Sir Bam Bam” since the honor was announced in April.
Meulens, a native of the Dutch island of Curacao, represented the Netherlands in the 2000 Olympics and was a coach on the 2004 squad. He’s in his third season as the Giants’ hitting coach after working his way through the minors.
A product of much hype as a Yankee prospect in the late-80s, “Bam Bam” hit .220/.288/.353 with 15 homers over seven major league seasons (a dozen of the homers came with the Bombers).
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.