In news that helps explain why the Indians felt the need to acquire veteran outfielder Chris Dickerson from the Pirates earlier today, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that center fielder Michael Bourn’s hamstring strain is “more serious” than initially believed.
Bourn has struggled with hamstring problems since last season, eventually undergoing tendon surgery, and this time around Hoynes says he’ll be out for at least 3-4 weeks. That puts a potential return date at early August even if things go smoothly and given Bourn’s recent history that should probably qualify as very optimistic.
In between the disabled list stints Bourn has been his usual self this season at the plate, hitting .267 with a .695 OPS compared to his career .270 batting average and .699 OPS, but he’s attempted just 10 stolen bases in 66 games after previously being one of the most potent base-stealers in MLB and the Indians didn’t give him a four-year, $48 million contract for his bat.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.