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.”
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.