Jordan Norberto had a 2.77 ERA and 46/22 K/BB ratio in 52 innings out of Oakland’s bullpen last season, but he failed to crack the Opening Day roster this year and today the A’s released him.
The move cleared room on the 40-man roster for first baseman Daric Barton, who’s rejoining the A’s after previously being designated for assignment and passing through waivers unclaimed last week. He’s getting another opportunity because of injuries to Coco Crisp, Chris Young, and Josh Reddick.
Releasing a 26-year-old reliever with just one season of service time coming off a very useful year is unusual, but Norberto has been limited to just three appearances in the minors because of elbow problems and the A’s clearly think they have plenty of bullpen depth.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was once again ejected from an NLCS game, this time in Game 4.
In the top of the eighth inning, closer Wade Davis found himself in a bit of a pickle. He gave up a leadoff home run to Justin Turner, cutting the Cubs’ lead to 3-2. Davis then walked Yasiel Puig. He was able to get Andre Ethier to pop up, bringing up Curtis Granderson. Granderson worked the count 2-2, then fouled off a pitch. And then he appeared to swing through a curve that bounced in the dirt. Catcher Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out, but Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, so it was a foul ball.
Wolf conferred with the other umpires. After a brief delay, the strikeout was overturned and Granderson was given new life in the batter’s box. Only… replays showed that Wolf got it right the first time.
Understandably, Maddon was livid. On the broadcast, one could see Maddon gesturing to the umpires to look at the replay on the video board behind the stands in left field. The argument fell on deaf ears and he was ejected. Thankfully for the Cubs, justice prevailed and Davis struck out Granderson on the next pitch.
It’ll be interesting to see if Maddon makes any political comparisons after the game. He likened the slide rule, the impetus behind his Game 1 ejection, to the soda tax.