Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Atlanta Braves just signed one of their young, team-controlled players to a multi-year extension. This time: Andrelton Simmons. Who isn’t even arbitration-eligible yet. He got seven years and, according to Ken Rosenthal, $58 million guaranteed.
Simmons is easily the best defensive shortstop in baseball, with his highlight reel from 2013 alone featuring more amazing defensive plays than many shortstops have their entire lifetime. While his hitting line was only .248/.296/.396 last season, he does have some pop in his bat, having hit 17 homers, and there is reason to believe he’ll improve. Even if it’s only moderate improvement, his plus-plus defense already makes him a valuable commodity.
At any rate, that leaves approximately six people in the United States the Braves have not extended this offseason.
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.