Diamondbacks outfielder Yasmany Tomas recently underwent an MRI for what he and the team thought was a lower back injury but turned out to be a strained oblique, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. There’s no timetable yet for his return, but oblique injuries are notoriously tricky and the injury likely puts Tomas in doubt to be ready by Opening Day.
Tomas, 26, is entering the third year of a six-year, $68.5 million contract signed with the D-Backs back in December 2014. He put together a solid offensive season in 2016, batting .272/.313/.508 with 31 home runs and 83 RBI in 563 plate appearances. However, Tomas does not play good defense. Not only did that heavily impact his value, but it also forced the Diamondbacks to move him around the diamond in an attempt to “hide” his glove. Tomas played third base in 2016 before being moved to the outfield and the club then shifted him from left field to right field. Now he’s back in left field.
If Tomas is not ready for the regular season, veteran Gregor Blanco will handle his job in left field. Blanco signed with the D-Backs back in January.
The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.
Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.
“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”
The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.
Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.