The Orioles retained outfielder Nate McLouth on a one-year deal following an unexpected strong finish last season and now they’d like to bring him back for 2014.
According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles are interested in re-signing McLouth and have talked with his representatives since the free-agent signing period began. However, the thought is that they’ll likely have to give him a multi-year deal this time around, especially after David DeJesus and Marlon Byrd each got two year deals in recent days.
McLouth, who turned 32 last month, batted .258/.329/.399 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI this season while going 30-for-37 in stolen base attempts. His production dropped off considerably during the second half and he did very little damage against southpaws, but the door for a return is open in part because prospect Henry Urrutia might not be ready for a full-time gig in left field to begin 2014.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.