Outfielder Drew Stubbs is in line for a raise on his $2.825 million salary in 2013 as he is eligible for arbitration for the second of three years. Despite a solidified outfield with Michael Brantley in left, Michael Bourn in center, and the recently-signed David Murphy in right, the Indians are expected to tender Stubbs a contract, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. He would serve in a back-up role, but the Indians could always trade him at some point as well.
Depending on how much credit you give him defensively, Stubbs has mostly graded out somewhere between replacement level and average, according to both versions of Wins Above Replacement (2.0 is average) on FanGraphs and Baseball Reference. He finished 2013 with a lackluster .233/.305/.360 line but stole 17 bases in 19 attempts and has stolen as many as 40 bases in the past with the Reds.
Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.
While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.
Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:
It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.
Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:
It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.