Today was a painful day for the Orioles. In addition to being swept by the Rays and losing third baseman Manny Machado due to a scary leg injury, Alexi Casilla was forced to exit after he collided head-first into Nick Markakis’ leg while attempting to make a diving catch in the seventh inning.
Casilla nearly made a remarkable catch on the play, but the ball popped out of his glove as a result of the collision. Despite laying on the ground for several moments and looking quite woozy, he finished the inning before leaving the game. According to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, Casilla will undergo a CT scan to determine whether he has a concussion. He’ll remain in Tampa Bay overnight rather than fly back to Baltimore with the rest of the team.
Casilla, 29, is batting .214/.268/.295 with one home run, 10 RBI, and nine stolen bases in 62 games this season.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: