While right-hander Jacob Turner, the biggest piece the Marlins received from the Tigers in last month’s Anibal Sanchez-Omar Infante deal, continues to toil in the minors, the Marlins announced Sunday that they’re going to give his batterymate, Rob Brantly, an opportunity starting Tuesday.
Brantly will be called up to replace fellow catcher Brett Hayes on the roster and presumably will share time with big disappointment John Buck the rest of the way.
Buck, in the middle year of a three-year, $18 million contract, is hitting just .186/.302/.325 with eight homers and 30 RBI in 274 at-bats this season. He figures to play mostly against lefties for now, with the lefty-swinging Brantly getting an opportunity against righties.
Brantly, 23, has hit .298/.340/.412 with five homers and 41 RBI in 362 at-bats between Double- and Triple-A this year. He’s been on fire since the trade, batting .365/.389/.558 with two homers in 52 at-bats for Triple-A New Orleans. While he’ll probably never contend for Gold Gloves or turn into a legitimate middle-of-the-order guy, he could become an average starting catcher in time. At the very least, his decent left-handed bat should lead to a long career as a backup.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: