Former major league catcher David Ross didn’t enter Game 7 of the World Series until the fifth inning, but his presence was immediately felt and not in a great way. Starter Kyle Hendricks issued a two-out walk to Carlos Santana, prompting manager Joe Maddon to make a double-switch. Ross replaced Willson Contreras behind the plate and Jon Lester relieved Hendricks. On the first at-bat, Jason Kipnis hit a tapper to the left side. Ross pounced on it but made a poor throw to first base, allowing Santana to move to third base and Kipnis to second. Then, with a 0-1 count on Francisco Lindor, Lester uncorked a wild pitch that Ross couldn’t handle. The ball caromed off of his mask towards the first base dugout. Ross got up to give chase but immediately lost his footing. Both Santana and Kipnis scored on the play, reducing the Cubs’ lead to 5-3.
Ross would redeem himself the next inning by drilling a solo home run to center field off of feared lefty reliever Andrew Miller, his former teammate with the Red Sox. The Cubs, as we know, would eventually defeat the Indians 8-7 in 10 innings to win the 2016 World Series. It was a storybook ending for Ross, who planned to retire no matter what happened. He was hoisted on the shoulders of his teammates as they celebrated at Progressive Field.
Ross appeared on MLB Network to discuss all of that and it’s rather interesting, especially the way he broke down his at-bat against Miller.
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.