White Sox outfielder Casper Wells wasn’t the only position player who pitched last night. Dodgers’ utility player Skip Schumaker was called on to pitch the ninth inning in a 16-1 loss to the Phillies. And get this, he was the only Dodgers’ pitcher who didn’t give up a run. Of course he was.
Schumaker was naturally a bit shaky, as he allowed a double and walked two, but he struck out catcher Humberto Quintero swinging to work out of the bases-loaded jam. He topped out at nearly 92 mph on his fastball, according to Brooks Baseball. He had one get away on a high-and-inside pitch to outfielder John Mayberry, Jr., but as you’ll see in the video below, he immediately put his hands over his head and apologized multiple times.
This was actually Schumaker’s third career appearance as a pitcher. He tossed a scoreless inning against the Rockies back on April 29 of this year and gave up two runs in one inning of work against the Dodgers on August 23, 2011 when he was with the Cardinals.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.