Things haven’t been going well for the Rockies lately. They’re in the midst of a four-game losing streak and are 7-17 since May 25, falling from five games over .500 to five games under. The implosion continued in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Brewers.
Trailing 5-2, Rockies starter Christian Friedrich loaded the bases with one out against opposing pitcher Wily Peralta. Friedrich fired a 91 MPH fastball that catcher Michael McKenry just plain missed. The ball kicked off of the backstop and rolled about halfway up the first base line. Aramis Ramirez scampered towards home plate. McKenry corralled the ball and tossed it to Friedrich covering home plate, but the throw sailed wide of Friedrich’s glove towards the visitors’ dugout. Friedrich chased after it as Mark Reynolds scored the second run on the play.
Jean Segura, who now was standing on third base, noticed Friedrich and McKenry weren’t paying attention, so he crept off of the bag before dashing home. Friedrich dove for the tag, but Segura slid into home plate safely for run number three of the play, four of the inning, and eight of the game.
Watch the play in all its ugliness:
Friedrich was charged with a wild pitch, and McKenry was charged with a throwing error on the play. It was one of four errors the Rockies have committed. They made three errors in the second inning, leading to the Brewers’ first four runs.
MLB’s Twitter account has some trivia:
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.
The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.
St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.
The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.
Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?
Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.