Facing a lefty in Anaheim’s C.J. Wilson on Friday, the Mariners have Jason Bay leading off for the first time in his career.
With Franklin Gutierrez sidelined, Endy Chavez had been leading off for the Mariners of late, but he’s only an option there against righties. Bay, who is hitting .220 overall, is 4-for-14 with a couple of walks against left-handed pitchers, giving him a .375 OBP in those matchups.
The only other spot in which Bay had never hit was ninth. He’s spent the bulk of his career batting third, fourth and fifth. He has hit second eight times with poor results; he’s 3-for-30 with 12 strikeouts and one walk from that spot.
Bay’s appearance in the leadoff spot comes in his 1,179th major league start.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.
Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.
The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.