White Sox lose after obvious interference call missed

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It was 4-4 in the top of the 11th of Tuesday night’s game between the Astros and White Sox. George Springer singled with one out against Matt Albers and was looking to run with Carlos Correa at the plate. He took off on the 0-2 pitch, which Correa swung through for the strikeout. Here’s where Correa ended up after his swing.

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This was, by any definition, interference. It was Correa’s momentum from the swing that carried him through home plate, but that’s irrelevant, and while he did eventually make an effort to duck, it happened too late for Alex Avila to make the throw he wanted to make.

If interference had been called by home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo, Springer would have been out* and the inning would have been over. Instead, Springer was credited with the steal, Evan Gattis followed with a two-run homer and the Astros went on to win 6-5.

(The reason Springer would have been out is because it was strike three on Correa. If it had happened earlier in the at-bat, Springer simply would have been sent back to first base.)

It seems to me that umpires have gotten better recently about calling interference on these sorts of plays. It used to be that interference was hardly ever ruled unless the catcher hit the runner with the ball or with his arm on the follow through. Obviously, that shouldn’t be necessary to draw the call. Randazzo, though, seemed to be watching the steal attempt, rather than the clear case of interference in front of him.

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays; Yankees land Brandon Drury

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Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds. The Diamondbacks will also receive prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert adds that the Rays will get two players to be named later from the D-Backs.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

Widener, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2016 draft. This past season with High-A Tampa, he pitched 119 1/3 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA with a 129/50 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline rated Widener as the 14th-best prospect in the Yankees’ system.

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.