I haven’t watched the David Ortiz-produced “Off the Bat from the MLB Fan Cave” show on MTV2 for a couple of reasons. The biggest of which is that I’m not really the demographic they’re shooting for. “Off the Bat” is aimed at younger people and is an (admirable, in my view) effort to try to market MLB players in ways the league really hasn’t done much of before. Since it is speculated by experts that I don’t enjoy or appreciate baseball, all this fun and jocularity is all lost on me.
But I may have to change that policy this week, because this is happening:
According to the press release, “Yasiel Puig flips a bat for every occasion.” Which is pretty fantastic. In the likely event that I die before Puig, I would want him to do a bat-flip salute at my funeral. Maybe we could get Carlos Gomez to be a pallbearer too. Let him decide if he wants to do a slow strut to the grave or one of those fast sprints he sometimes does. Regardless, I’d probably pay Puig and Gomez $200/hr to walk and/or strut around my son’s birthday party and flip bats and things.
This week’s “Off the Bat from the MLB Fan Cave” airs at 11pm tomorrow night on MTV2. Ain’t gonna lie, I’m gonna watch this thing.
Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.