Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times has a feature on A.J. Ellis, who is one of the more unlikely occasional heroes on the Dodgers this year. Solid stuff as far as profiles go — they’re always better for non-stars than they are for stars — but as always, one thing sticks out to me. Usually that thing is some weird factoid. This is no different:
On a team filled with sophisticated and popular stars, Ellis is the guy who passes out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. His father runs a Smucker’s plant that produces the popular “Uncrustables” and Ellis is a leading advocate.
I’ve never had an Uncrustable, mostly because I’m sorta wary of a sandwich that is manufactured at an industrial plant instead of made in a kitchen moments before I eat it. I do like that someone is an “advocate” for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, though. There are, like, 10,000 worse things people advocate for and feel passionately about. PB&J seems pretty harmless as far as such things go, manufactured or not.
The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.
Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.
Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.