It’s probably too late to do the Nationals much good, but Dan Haren has turned his season around in a big way following a miserable start.
Haren signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Nationals after the Angels declined his $15.5 million option, buying him out for $3.5 million instead. He was coming off multiple injuries and needed to re-establish his value, but through the end of June he was 4-9 with a 6.15 ERA and league-high 19 homers allowed. Then he spent two weeks on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
And he’s been fantastic since coming off the DL. Haren tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Cubs last night, giving him a 2.16 ERA and 50/10 K/BB ratio in 50 innings since early July. He’s allowed just four homers in eight starts during that span while holding opponents to a sub-.200 batting average.
Haren’s season totals may not end up looking particularly impressive because of the rough start, but if he can keep pitching like this for the final six weeks he’ll be in line for a nice payday as a 33-year-old free agent. And that possibility was no doubt a big part of why he signed a one-year deal.
The Giants beat the Cardinals on Saturday night, but there was some grumpiness between a couple of Giants players all the same.
As Hank Shulman reports, late in the 13-inning game Fox TV cameras caught catcher Buster Posey yelling at first baseman Belt after Stephen Piscotty of the Cardinals stole second base. Then, after the final out, there was a brief, cold stare down between the teammates. The issue would appear to be Posey being upset with Belt for not holding Piscotty close at first base and then Belt being upset with Posey for calling him out in front of God and the fans and the TV cameras and everyone.
Neither Posey nor Belt would talk about it to reporters afterwards or on Sunday, saying the matter was between them and that they’d deal with it privately. Which is a smart move.
Of course, if Posey heeded that advice beforehand and took up his dissatisfaction with Belt in private, the reporters wouldn’t have even known about it in the first place.
The Yankees probably have the best minor league system in baseball right now and the best player in that system is, without question, shortstop Gleyber Torres. Now that top prospect is a step closet to the Bronx: he has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees don’t rush their prospects anywhere nearly as fast as a lot of teams do, but Torres, who is only 20, proved himself to be ready for the promotion. In 32 games at Double-A Trenton this year he hit .273/.367/.496 in 139 plate appearances. That OPS is almost 100 points higher than that which he posted in high A-ball in 2016.
Torres came over to the Yankees from the Cubs organization in the Aroldis Chapman trade last summer. At this rate he’ll be playing shortstop behind Chapman in New York before too long.