Mets reliever Frank Francisco had to exit in the eighth inning of this afternoon’s game against the Marlins after being hit in the wrist by a Logan Morrison line drive.
Manager Terry Collins had called on Francisco after Christian Yelich led off the inning with a double. The right-hander promptly struck out Giancarlo Stanton, then walked Justin Ruggiano to bring up Morrison. Morrison fell behind 0-2 and was preparing for Francisco’s third offering before asking for time. Home plate umpire Tim Welke did not grant it, so Morrison quickly had to get his hand back on the bat in time, which he did, lacing Francisco’s 92 MPH fastball back up the middle. The ball caromed off of Francisco’s right wrist towards the first base line, allowing Yelich to score — putting the Marlins up 3-0 — while first baseman Lucas Duda applied the tag for the second out.
David Aardsma was called on in relief of Francisco, retiring Adeiny Hechavarria for the final out of the inning.
Francisco, who recently turned 34 years old, made his season debut on September 8. He had spent most of the season on the disabled list recovering from elbow surgery. In four appearances this season spanning 2.2 innings, he has a 10.13 ERA.
Update: Via Twitter, ESPN’s Adam Rubin says the ball actually hit him on the thumb, causing it to swell “significantly”.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.