File this one away in the “statistically improbable” folder, next to the report of Phillies outfielder Richie Ashburn striking the same fan twice with a foul ball. On Saturday night, Astros minor leaguer Conrad Gregor belted his first Midwest League home run. After the ball cleared the fence, a man in a hat made a barehanded basket catch of the ball. That man? Gregor’s father, MiLB.com’s Josh Jackson reports.
According to the newspaper, Marty Gregor and Conrad’s mom came to Davenport, Iowa, for the Memorial Day weekend series, making the nearly five-hour drive from Carmel, Indiana. The 22-year-old first baseman made Saturday extra special by sparking a comeback win and sending his father a souvenir with one swing of the bat.
“He may have to watch every game from out there,” Gregor joked.
“It’s a little unbelievable, but I’m glad my parents were here to see it,” Gregor told the newspaper, “and when I got back to the dugout, I heard he made a pretty good catch.”
Watch Gregor’s blast:
Gregor, a 22-year-old first baseman, entered Sunday’s action slashing .307/.413/.425 in 184 plate appearances on the season with Single-A Quad Cities.
Here’s a pretty good way to finally break out of that turkey-induced Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.
It’s a compilation of the 10 longest home runs from the 2015 season, with MLB.com’s Statcast technology providing data along the path of each blast …
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.