Count Phillies manager Pete Mackanin among those who do not enjoy seeing batters flip their bats in celebration. The skipper called a team meeting after Monday’s loss to the Mets, which saw some tension after Edubray Ramos threw an errant fastball past Asdrubal Cabrera, who flipped his bat and raised his arms in triumph with a walk-off home run in September last season.
Ramos told Mackanin he did not throw at Cabrera intentionally. “That’s the answer he gave me. I just want to leave it at that,” Mackanin said.
On whether he had anything to do with Ramos throwing at Cabrera, Mackanin said, “I’ll never ask a pitcher to hit a guy, but I can’t tell people what to do.”
Mackanin was then asked about center fielder Odubel Herrera, who has become one of baseball’s most well-known players when it comes to flipping bats.
He’s been spoken to many times. He was drilled a half-dozen times last year. He is who he is and he’s been spoken to about that and to be careful about that type of thing, but once again, you can only do so much, if that’s who he is and who he wants to be, then he has to suffer the consequences.
Mackanin continued, “Fans might like to see it I guess but for me, it’s just unprofessional.”
Consider me shocked that a white, 65-year-old baseball lifer isn’t a fan of bat flipping. Fortunately, those who think like Mackanin are gradually losing their foothold on setting baseball’s culture.
Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.
Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.
Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.