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.
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.