David Ross could have been retired twice in his second-inning at-bat against Kyle Lohse on Friday. Fortunately for him, he got a couple of breaks before turning a changeup into a two-run homer, giving the Braves an early 2-0 lead over the Cardinals.
Lohse’s 1-1 pitch to Ross was a fastball popped up down the first-base line. Allen Craig made his way towards the stands, only to pull up a little short and alligator arm the ball in the end. Had he been more aggressive, he may well have caught it.
That made it 1-2. Lohse then threw a changeup than Ross swung through, but the umpire had called time, apparently at Ross’s request. Ross, not knowing if it would be granted, stayed in the box and swung at the pitch. He got the good news afterwards.
Lohse then went right back to the changeup for some reason. It proved to be a huge mistake, as Ross deposited it over the wall in left-center.
In a column published on Sunday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Padres are “aggressively shopping” third baseman Yangervis Solarte. The 29-year-old is entering his first of three years of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $2.7 million next season.
This past season, Solarte hit a solid .286/.341/.467 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI in 443 plate appearances. It’s quite impressive factoring in that he plays in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Given that Solarte is team-controlled for three more years and he offers lots of versatility with previous experience playing first and second base as well as corner outfield, the Padres should receive a fair amount of interest.
Update (6:52 PM EST): The deal is expected to be one year for $13 million, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports confirms the report.
The Yankees are close to signing veteran free agent Matt Holliday, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reports.
Holliday, who turns 37 years old next month, was limited to 110 games in 2016 with the Cardinals due to a fractured left thumb suffered in the second half. He finished the season hitting .246/.322/.461 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI in 426 plate appearances.
Holliday is likely looking at spending the majority of his time in the DH role. Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann handled the DH role for a majority of the time last season but all three have moved on — Rodriguez was released in the second half, Beltran just signed with the Astros, and McCann was traded to the Astros last month.