Darwin Barney was just three outs away last night from setting the new single-season record for consecutive errorless games at second base. It didn’t happen.
Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton hit a grounder up the middle in the bottom of the eighth inning which was fielded by Barney, but he made a wild off-balance throw to Anthony Rizzo at first base which allowed a run to score. It wasn’t an easy play, so Upton was credited with a hit, but Barney was given an error because the run scored. That’s rough. You can watch the play here.
It was Barney’s first error since April 17. His errorless streak ends at 141 games, which leaves him tied with Placido Polanco, who did it with the Tigers in 2007. Barney did break the National League record of 123 straight errorless games at second base, which was held by Hall of Famer and former Cub great Ryne Sandberg.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.