In a world where people keep giving Jeff Francoeur paychecks I don’t suppose anything should surprise us. But this is still surprising:
Abreu has been hitting the cover off the ball down in Venezuela this winter. But he usually does. He also sat out all of 2013 following a 2012 which showed him to be more or less finished as a useful player. He still has some residual on-base ability — Abreu will be able to fall out of bed and work a walk when he’s 60 — but the power and speed and defense that were once his hallmarks have been gone for some time.
One wonders if this news nugget came out before the Indians signed Francoeur, because it’d be hard to feature the Tribe bringing in both of these guys. Unless of course the plan is to combine them into one player via surgical means. Kind of a golem, if you will, with Abreu’s plate patience and Francoeur’s defense and smile and stuff. Maybe they can also get Mark Reynolds or someone for power. Give it three heads and everything.
Which, to be clear, I strongly advocate.
Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.
With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.
The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:
Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab when catcher Andrew Knapp tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:
The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.
First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:
The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.
Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.