Carlos Zambrano is pitching for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic and tossed two scoreless innings in his first appearance yesterday against his team last year, the Marlins.
It was just a pre-tournament tuneup game for Venezuela, but could have been a more important game for Zambrano because at this point in his career he needs to impress someone to get back to the big leagues.
“I have a couple of offers, but they’re not the kind of offers that I want,” Zambrano said, via Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “I think this is a good moment, the WBC, to show or prove something.”
Based on reports last month those “couple of offers” Zambrano doesn’t want may be from Japan and Taiwan. Obviously he’d have to settle for a minor-league deal from an MLB team, but so far at least it’s not even clear he can secure one of those. And the amazing thing is that despite seemingly being around forever Zambrano is still just 31 years old.
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.