Carlos Beltran continues to be a cool customer in the postseason. The veteran outfielder played hero in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers last night by driving in all three runs, including the game-winner in the 13th inning. He also made a critical throw to nail Mark Ellis at home plate in the 10th.
Beltran’s teammates are at a loss to explain the guy’s remarkable postseason success, but Matt Carpenter attempted to give it a whirl while talking to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
“You know, we always joke about him,” Carpenter said with a laugh, “that we’ve got to put a monitor under his nose and check if he’s breathing. He’s so calm and relaxed in those situations, it’s like he’s got jazz music playing in his head.”
Any guesses on the song? I’d probably have to go with “Birdland.” Beltran digs that jazz-fusion.
By the way, Carpenter also suggested that perhaps Beltran’s nickname should be “Mr. Playoffs.” Not sure about that, but it’s certainly better than Señor Octubre.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.
Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.
For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.