The Rays have been rumored to be interested in a corner bat. Possibly Mike Napoli. Today they apparently closed that line of inquiry and speculation off as they have re-signed free agent first baseman Logan Morrison. It’s a one year, $2.5 million deal.
Morrison hit .238/.319/.414 with 14 homers and 43 RBI last year. He was way stronger in the second half of the season, however, so the line may not really represent the kind of hitter the Rays will be getting for 2017. Or maybe it does. I don’t know. We always tend to believe that a guy’s second half is a better indicator of future performance than his first half. I’m not sure why we do that apart from the allure of recency bias, but that’s what we do.
Morrison coming back to Tampa Bay will likely mean that Brad Miller, who moved from shortstop to first after Morrison’s late season injury, will go to second base to replace the departed Logan Forsythe.
As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.
Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.
Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.
Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.
Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:
Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.
Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.