While the Marlins are having a “Legends of Wrestling” night next month, the Diamondbacks are going a step further. They have introduced a luchador as an official team mascot. Seriously.
As the official press release from the team indicates, this is part of an effort to attract the Hispanic community:
The popularity of last year’s Lucha Libre mask, which was later followed by a Lucha Libre match, inspired the creation of the Luchador character and this year the mascot features a new look. In addition, the D-backs will give away 20,000 Luchador masks, courtesy of Circle K and Univision Arizona, as fans enter Chase Field next Saturday, July 27.
The D-backs Luchador speaks both fluent Spanish and English and represents a character that you would find at a Lucha Libre match. The D-backs Luchador wrestles with Club Deportivo Coliseo and can be found revving up the crowd at select D-backs games. Fans can follow the Luchador on Twitter @DbacksLuchador and can find more information about the character at http://www.dbacks.com/luchador or http://www.losbacks.com/luchador.
This season, the D-backs will give away 20,000 Luchador masks, courtesy of Circle K and Univision Arizona, (July 27) and 5,000 Luchador capes, courtesy of Chevrolet, for kids only (Sept. 15). Last season the team gave away their first D-backs Lucha Libre mask and featured a Lucha Libre match along the Gila River Casinos Plaza prior to the game. In addition, the D-backs will host Hispanic Heritage Day, presented by Budweiser, on Sept. 14 that will feature a Street Festival, presented by APS, and will give away 20,000 Miguel Montero bobbleheads, courtesy of Subway.
Don’t worry, the luchador already took to Twitter to say that he’s not replacing D. Baxter the Bobcat as the team’s mascot. So I guess they are more of a tag team. A gritty tag team, of course.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.