Even when Angel Hernandez is right, he’s wrong


With the White Sox down 4-2 to the Twins, Alejandro De Aza hit a liner to shallow right to lead off the top of the seventh tonight. Darin Mastroianni made a diving play on the ball, but came up a little short, and replays made it clear he grabbed the ball on a hop, leaving De Aza with what should have been a single.

And that’s what it would have been, had first-base umpire Angel Hernandez’s call stood. He ruled no catch on the play, but the umpires gathered afterwards and reversed the call, giving Mastroianni a catch.

How Hernandez allowed that to happen is anyone’s guess. He clearly had the best angle on the play, and while I’m not 100 percent sure about this, he should be functioning as the crew chief with normal crew chief Ed Rapuano apparently on vacation.

As it turned out, the blown call may not make much of a difference. Despite losing a baserunner, the White Sox went on to score four runs in the seventh and take a 6-4 lead. Of course, that only happened after Hawk Harrelson said “That is B.S.” on three occasions, later adding, “That’s ridiculous,” “That’s a joke” and “Boy, I wish I could cuss right now.”

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.