CLEARWATER — As is my usual routine, I got to Bright House Field for today’s Phillies-Braves game at 8AM, which is when the home team’s clubhouse is usually open for media. Except today the Phillies’ clubhouse isn’t open.
This happens sometimes. Lots of reasons, be it meetings, guest speakers from the league or the MLBPA or what have you. It was my bad for not checking ahead of time. I didn’t ask for the specific reason it was closed. But this being the Phillies, I assume it was a canasta tournament, seniors yoga or a “Matlock” marathon. No. “Murder, She Wrote.”
This much is 100% true: when I got here, former Reds and Astros catcher Ed Taubensee was waiting in the lobby area and was given the OK to go in the clubhouse. Taubensee last played in the bigs in 2001, so I assume he’s here so that Ruben Amaro can give him a three-year, $39 million contract with a vesting option.
OK, I’ll stop now. I promised myself I’d give up trolling Phillies fans for Lent. I won’t because I’m not Catholic, but the spirit of sacrifice is good for the soul, so I’ll try to make an effort.
Updates from Clearwater later this morning.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.