Domonic Brown is back from a concussion and the Phillies have decided to shift Darin Ruf to right field in order to keep his bat in the lineup, which means … Delmon Young has been benched.
Young took a cheap, incentive-laden one-year deal from the Phillies coming off ankle surgery, with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Charlie Manuel talking him up while guys like me wondered why exactly they wanted a corner outfielder who’s a below-average hitter and one of the worst fielders in baseball.
Sure enough Young has hit just .262 with a .304 on-base percentage and .401 slugging percentage for a .705 OPS that’s 55 points below the MLB average for right fielders and Ultimate Zone Rating pegs him as 8.1 runs below average defensively in 493 innings. Same old, same old.
But hey, based on those same seven-year-old scouting reports the Phillies relied on to sign Young he probably still looks pretty good. And at least they got him to lose a few pounds with $600,000 in weigh-in incentives.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.