Teams are expected to watch free agent reliever Carlos Marmol pitch for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League playoffs, according to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. MLBTR reports that Marmol has discussed a Major League deal with three different teams, though it is unclear if any of those offers are still on the table. Marmol is expected to sign at some point this month.
While his ERA hasn’t been catastrophically bad, Marmol has struggled immensely with his control, particularly over the past two seasons. In 104.1 innings of work, Marmol has walked 85 batters, 82 intentionally. His 18 percent walk rate state the start of 2012 is the worst among 98 relievers who logged at least 100 innings. The next worst is Rex Brothers at 12.7 percent. If he can ever overcome his control problems, he can still be a useful reliever, but Marmol will be entering his ninth season in the Majors. Sometimes you just are who you are.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.