Deep Thoughts: the Quad-A Cafe

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Someone mentioned “quad-A” players earlier. I tend to call them AAAA-guys, but you know who I mean. Players who are too good for Triple-A but can’t seem to cut it in the bigs. Mat Gamel was the one mentioned in the comment, but there are a bunch of them floating around.

Extremely bored, I started daydreaming and imagined the Quad-A guys all meeting for a convention. An annual get-together or something where they talk about the challenges of having no place. Maybe it’s more of a support group thing, during which these guys deal with the unique problem of sometimes being so much better than those around them, sometimes being worse, and never having peace and comfort because of it.

But then I just thought, nah, they need a bar. The Quad-A Cafe, maybe.  I mused to Twitter what it might be like.  I then got a bunch of great responses:

@suss2hyphens: It would have a low ceiling and go on for years.

@SouthSideSox: The menu consists of a few cups of coffee.

@SSS_UGod:  And some pop, but not as much as you’d like.

@guyd10: Clearly would have a coffee maker, but the coffee would only be available in September…

@DangerousMabry: It would boast a list of 135 whiskys. But they’d all be Canadian.

@stevesimas: They’d have a “B” grade from the Dept. of Health in the window.

@EvansiPhone4s: servers would always be missing 1 tool

@SteveGlauber: TVs always set to ESPN2

@RDansky: The BPro guys would constantly be clamoring for it to get a shot at a better location.

@EnnHaitch: Might just be really inconsistent.

@matthiasbostick: after a bad zagat review, people on the internet would argue about whether it had been given a fair chance

Pull up a chair and let the bartender of the Quad-A Cafe, Roberto Petagine, pour you an OK, but not spectacular drink.  Then, if you’re hungry, allow our cook, Ken Phelps, to make you a totally adequate burger that does not quite meet your expectations.  But make sure you behave yourself or else our bouncer, Jeff Clement, will throw you out.

Wait, who am I kidding? If Jeff Clement could throw anyone out he wouldn’t be at the Quad-A in the first place.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.