Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski was initially coy last week when asked if Miguel Cabrera would be moving from third base to first base following the Prince Fielder trade, but today he admitted that’s the plan.
No surprise, certainly, as Cabrera was banged up physically a lot this year and has long been stretched defensively at third base. He played first base almost exclusively from 2008-2011 before moving to make room for Fielder.
Nick Castellanos is now slated to be the Opening Day third baseman after the 21-year-old prospect spent most of this year playing left field at Triple-A. Castellanos previously played third base full time in 2010 and part time in 2011, and he’s considered one of the better all-around position player prospects in baseball. Despite being very young for the International League he hit .276 with 18 homers and a .793 OPS in 134 games this year before making his MLB debut in September.
Baseball started early for the Nationals’ and Marlins’ Gulf Coast League teams on Sunday, with the first pitch of the first game of a double-header getting thrown at 10:01 AM ET. It was the start of what would become back-to-back seven-inning no-hitters on the same day.
The Nats’ Joan Baez — not the singer — threw six shutout innings, yielding one walk and hitting one batter while striking out seven. Jose Jimenez pitched the seventh and worked around a walk for a scoreless frame to seal the no-no, a 4-0 victory.
The second game was a makeup of a game that was postponed on July 18. This time, the Nationals were the home team. Jared Johnson started, tossing four hitless innings on a walk and two strikeouts. Gilberto Chu worked the final three frames, keeping the Marlins hitless with no walks and four strikeouts. The Nats won 1-0.
Here are the box scores for Game 1 and Game 2.
A no-hitter in the Gulf Coast League doesn’t have the same weight as a no-hitter in the majors, even before considering the two fewer innings. Still, doing it in back-to-back games on the same day is pretty cool.
The Blue Jays acquired Yankees’ infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder for first base prospect Ryan McBroom, the teams announced Sunday. Refsnyder was designated for assignment by the Yankees earlier in the week and is expected to report to Triple-A Buffalo, while McBroom could find a landing place on the Blue Jays’ Double-A roster in Trenton.
Refsnyder, 26, had trouble heating up at the plate during his third campaign with the Yankees. He batted .135/.200/.216 with a double and two stolen bases through his first 40 PA in 2017 and was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre coming out of the All-Star break. His numbers solidified during a 38-game stint in Triple-A, where he posted a .312/.390/.464 batting line with 15 extra-base hits in 159 PA. He’s not slated for a major league gig with the Blue Jays just yet, but could see some time at second base behind Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney, especially with Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki still on the mend.
McBroom, 25, was ranked No. 30 among the Blue Jays’ top prospects in 2017. He profiles as a bat-only first baseman with little speed or range in the infield, and was working through his second season at Double-A New Hampshire prior to the trade. He entered Sunday slashing .243/.321/.402 with 12 home runs through his first 392 PA of the year.