There has been some general friction between Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg and some of his players this year. Specifically the younger ones who don’t feel they have a set role. We saw this over the weekend when David Buchanan and Domonic Brown both gave quotes criticizing Sandberg’s treatment of them. Buchanan for being taken out of a game before he thought he should be taken out and Brown over playing time.
Bob Brookover of the Inquirer has a message for those two:
Shut up and play. Be quiet and pitch.
That’s the free advice being offered here to all Phillies players and pitchers – especially the younger ones – who want to gripe about how they are being used by manager Ryne Sandberg.
You know me well enough by now to not be a huge fan of that kind of stance, but here I think I tend to side with Brookover. Neither Brown nor Buchanan are being misused by their manager. Or, if they are, it’s not in any truly significant way. Contrast this to how young prospects get buried on benches sometimes or are publicly called out on other times. That can be bad. Here? Sandberg may or may not doing the best he can, but if he’s not, it’s clear that the difference between the best and what he’s doing isn’t the difference between the Phillies being in first or last place. Or these players being All-Stars or not.
It’s been a crappy season in Philly. Lots of losing. No one is particularly happy. Sometimes, when you’re on a team where everything is crappy, you do best by not telling the media how your particular situation feels crappy on that particular day. You just endure it like the other 22 dudes on the team are enduring the same crappy situation. In silence or, short of that, voicing your displeasure when the clubhouse is closed to the press.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.