Cameron Maybin is out for 6-10 weeks with a torn knee ligament and in his absence the Padres have called up 23-year-old Jaff Decker from Triple-A for outfield reinforcements.
Decker is a former first-round pick and was once considered a top prospect, but his stock has slipped as he’s struggled to hit for a decent batting average in the high minors. He’s hit just .224 at Double-A and .251 at Triple-A, but Decker does have good power and draws tons of walks.
He also has experience in all three outfield spots, so he could get a look in center field replacing Maybin or could be used in a corner spot while the Padres go with Chris Denorfia and Will Venable in center field.
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.