CC Sabathia and Russell Martin were paired together tonight for just the third time this season and the first time since April 11. We’ll likely see them work together more often the rest of the way.
Sabathia allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in a complete game 6-3 victory over the Mariners tonight at Yankee Stadium. The southpaw struck out notched 10 strikeouts. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Mariners.
Sabathia actually held the Mariners to just one run until giving up a two-run homer to Dustin Ackley in the top of the ninth. Yankees manager Joe Girardi then came out to the mound to take his temperature, but the big southpaw stayed in the game and recorded the final three outs to finish off his second complete game of the season and the 35th of his career.
Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Raul Ibanez all had RBI singles in the victory while Eric Chavez added a two-run homer which just made it over the outstretched glove of Eric Thames in right field. Chavez, who is filling in for the injured Alex Rodriguez at third base, now has double-digit homers for the first time since 2007. The 34-year-old actually left the game for precautionary reasons after tweaking his ankle during an at-bat in the eighth inning, but Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that it’s not believed to be serious.
Sabathia improved to 11-3 with the victory and now holds a 3.53 ERA and 133/34 K/BB ratio over 135 innings this season.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.