OK, that’s a slight exaggeration. It was technically a fly to the outfield — Jon Jay caught it — but it was no more than 20-30 feet beyond the infield dirt. No one scores on a ball that shallow. But Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton did. And he didn’t even look like he was going all-out to do it.
The Reds broadcast of the game said it took Hamilton at 3.2 seconds to go from a dead stop tag-up at 3rd base to home plate. Which, wow, maybe he was going all-out and just didn’t look like he was.
Worth noting that the whole way around the bases was special for Hamilton. He singled, stole second, moved to third on shallow fly ball to right and then came home on this play.
Hamilton needs to get on base more than he does to become a truly effective player, but the man has rockets strapped to his ankles.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.