Marlins ace Jose Fernandez turned in a rare clunker of a start Friday against the Padres, allowing six runs in five innings and serving up two homers after giving up a total of two homers through his first seven starts.
Fernandez is human, of course, so a start that pushed his ERA from 1.74 to 2.44 isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, but it turns out he was pitching sick. So sick, in fact, that he threw up in the dugout just before taking the mound:
Fernandez said he felt bad throwing his warmup pitches in the bullpen after having his normal pre-game steak and threw up in a dugout garbage can during the first inning when the Marlins were at the plate. …
Fernandez said he almost threw up while standing on the mound in the first, too. Fernandez’s fastball velocity was down several ticks, and he didn’t throw the pitch as much as he does normally. But he said his arm is perfectly fine.
Angels reliever Joe Smith recently had to skip a save opportunity because he threw up in the bullpen right as manager Mike Scioscia called to have him warm up, so I suppose this can be viewed as yet another way in which Jose Fernandez is superior to other pitchers. He throws up and keeps pitching.
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The Yankees probably have the best minor league system in baseball right now and the best player in that system is, without question, shortstop Gleyber Torres. Now that top prospect is a step closet to the Bronx: he has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees don’t rush their prospects anywhere nearly as fast as a lot of teams do, but Torres, who is only 20, proved himself to be ready for the promotion. In 32 games at Double-A Trenton this year he hit .273/.367/.496 in 139 plate appearances. That OPS is almost 100 points higher than that which he posted in high A-ball in 2016.
Torres came over to the Yankees from the Cubs organization in the Aroldis Chapman trade last summer. At this rate he’ll be playing shortstop behind Chapman in New York before too long.
Dodgers outfielder Brett Eibner came into yesterday’s game against the Marlins as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning. He hit a single scoring Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez and then advanced to second on the throw home. Overall on the year he’s 5-for-16 with a walk, two homers and six driven in eight games. Admirable work for a guy whose job is to be a bench bat and outfield depth.
As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports, however, he could possible provide some bullpen depth too:
Eibner has thrown several bullpen sessions at Dodger Stadium and at Oklahoma City, working on building arm strength and developing secondary pitches to accompany a fastball he said hit 95 mph in college.
The idea, still in its theoretical stages, would be for Eibner to remain, primarily, a backup outfielder, but to possibly serve as an extra arm during periods when the Dodgers pen gets worked hard. Something less than an everyday reliever but something more than the gimmick of using a position player to save the real pitchers in a blowout.
In an age when teams have cut their position player depth down to the bone in the service of adding more relief pitchers, finding a guy who can do both could provide a nice little boost, no?