The Royals had Chris Getz replace Alex Gordon in the leadoff spot Friday against the White Sox, but it proved to be a one-day experiment. Getz suffered a broken left thumb bunting in the fifth inning and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Getz was 0-for-3 in the game, leaving him at .275/.312/.360 in 189 at-bats for the year. He usually doesn’t start against lefties, but the Royals had him in there tonight because he was 6-for-11 lifetime against White Sox starter Chris Sale.
With Getz out, the Royals figure to turn second base over to Johnny Giavotella, who is hitting .323/.404/.472 for Triple-A Omaha. As much as it has to suck for Getz, the injury might benefit the Royals for the long haul: they need to let Giavotella play every day and see if he’s going to be their long-term answer at second base. He’ll get that opportunity now, and the Royals can determine this winter whether to go forward with him as a regular.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.