B.J. Upton goes 4-for-6, helps Braves walk off against the Marlins

5 Comments

After a hot streak to begin the month of August, Braves outfielder B.J. Upton had fallen into another slump again, hitting just .100 in his last 44 plate appearances entering tonight’s game against the Marlins. Upton was on fire all night against Marlins starter Jacob Turner and the bullpen, though, knocking four hits including a game-tying two-run home run in the sixth inning and a walk-off RBI single off of reliever Ryan Webb in the 11th.

Because of the clutch hitting, FanGraphs credited him with .758 Win Percent Added, a Sabermetric statistic that tells you how much a player’s contributed to a team’s chance of winning. In this case, Upton was responsible for about 76 percent. Per Baseball Reference, Upton’s performance is the 11th-most valuable of the season.

Upton also boosted his batting average to .195, the highest it has been since August 9. He hasn’t been over the Mendoza line at any point during the season.

Chris Johnson also went 4-for-6 on the night, increasing his batting average from .326 to .331, retaking the batting title lead from Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

Getty Images
2 Comments

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’s season debut could be pushed back to May

Getty Images
1 Comment

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.