In the last post I said that Sabathia looked good. Which, sure, in the first inning he did. In the second inning, though, it got ugly. Sabathia gave up four runs. What’s worse: he did so while sitting between 88-90 miles per hour for the most part, which is not good. Towards the end of the inning he cranked a couple of 93s, but yowza.
Best plate appearance of the inning came in Jackie Bradley Jr.’s major league debut, in which he worked an eight pitch walk after going down 0-2 to Sabathia. Very nice discipline to lay off a couple of close pitches. Only bad part is that he hits a homer the next time he’s up, people will always say that he hit a homer in his first major league at bat. Which, while technically true, will obscure the truth of the matter because people still don’t think of walks as counting as much as other things. Bradley’s walk was probably the key to that inning, though.
Anyway: it’s now 4-0 in the second and I’m thinking hard about switching to the Nats game.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.