We noted a minor leaguer committed a Merkle’s Boner play the other day, not realizing that he had to advance to second base safely in order for the winning run to score. Last night a major leaguer committed a mental miscue of his own.Actually, two major leaguers had miscues on the same play: Aramis Ramirez and Rickie Weeks of the Brewers in last night’s game against the Nats.
Weeks was on first base and Ramirez was on third with one out. Teammate Sean Halton hit a long fly ball to the warning track which Denard Span caught for the second out. Weeks, however, assumed there were two outs already and had rounded second base by the time was caught. Ramirez — who did know the number of outs — yelled at Weeks to get back to first base. He did not, however, tag up quickly. By the time he eventually did Weeks had been doubled off first base before Ramirez could cross home plate. If he had crossed home before Weeks was out his run would have counted.
“I thought that double play, automatically the run don’t count,” Ramirez said. “I had no idea. I don’t think anybody knew. I was trying to get Rickie’s attention to get back. It was a weird play.”
Know you know, Aramis. And it only took you 16 years in the major leagues to figure it out.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.