Cubs rookie Brett Jackson was involved in a scary play last night in Pittsburgh, as he sprinted to rob Andrew McCutchen of extra bases before crashing into the chain-link fence in center field.
It looked pretty bad and Jackson did have to leave the game, but you’ll be happy to know that he ended up with just a bruised right knee. Jackson told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com after the game that he doesn’t plan on toning down his aggressiveness in center field.
“I’ve always been that way,” Jackson said. “I’ll go through a wall for the team.”
Jackson, who was called up from Triple-A Iowa last month, is hitting .191 with 11 extra-base hits (four homers), eight RBI and a 48/16 K/BB ratio over his first 110 plate appearances in the big leagues. Strikeouts were a big problem for him in the minors too, so many question whether he’ll hit enough to be a quality regular in the big leagues, but he sure knows how to go out and get it in center field.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.