The Giants are in last place in the NL West and are playing some ugly baseball lately. Madison Bumgarner was unable to play the “we just got to play them one game at a time” game after last night’s dispiriting loss to the Brewers. First, he described a misplayed bunt thusly:
“The bunt had dropped back to me and we had a chance to get him at third. I come up to throw and the guy’s not on the base,” Bumgarner said.
“The guy” being Pablo Sandoval who broke in to get the bunt but then was late getting back to the bag for Bumgarner’s throw. Yes, he is describing the play accurately, but it’s not common to see a player actually point the finger at a teammate like that.
Bumgarner had a general negative take too. From Hank Schulman’s gamer:
Madison Bumgarner was asked if he thought a team so used to success might be checking out mentally now that loss after loss has knocked them so far out of contention.
“Sometimes, yeah, I do,” Bumgarner said. “It seems like it some days we come in here, and some days it doesn’t.”
Bumgarner pitched well himself into the eighth only to get no run support until a 1-0 lead late, so it’s understandable if he was frustrated. But Bruce Bochy is probably not too pleased with the public airing of disappointment.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.