Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento was knocked out of the Pacific Coast League playoffs yesterday, so the A’s have recalled Jemile Weeks and Daric Barton as part of September roster expansion.
Weeks was demoted to Triple-A in mid-August after hitting just .220 in 113 games as the A’s starting second baseman. He batted .322 with an .834 OPS in 10 regular season games for Sacramento, but it’s unclear how much playing time he’ll get down the stretch with Cliff Pennington and Stephen Drew now serving as Oakland’s double-play duo.
Barton hit just .198 in 37 games for the A’s and has spent most of the season at Triple-A hitting .255 with a modest .425 slugging percentage in 74 games. He still has great on-base skills, with more walks (66) than strikeouts (53) and a .411 OBP, but Barton’s stock has plummeted in recent years and Chris Carter is now the A’s starting first baseman.
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.
Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.
Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.
None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.