Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Freddy Galvis happy with Phillies’ decision to extend protective netting

4 Comments

Last summer, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis lined a foul ball into the stands and unfortunately struck and injured a young girl. After the game, Galvis pleaded for the Phillies to extend the protective netting further down the first and third base lines. The next day, another fan was struck in nearly the same area and Galvis — in the field this time — threw his hands up in frustration.

During the offseason, the Phillies did heed the advice of their shortstop, extending the netting to the far ends of both the home and visitors’ dugouts.

Two weeks into the regular season, Galvis is happy, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. Galvis said, “A little bit over the dugout and I think more people are going to be safe. The last couple of days, I think I saw like one guy get hit on the other side [of the netting]. But this is a good start. Let’s see what it brings and go from there.”

Galvis added, “I don’t know if it was because I said something, but at the point right now I feel good, because people come here with their families and they’re protected right now, especially young kids. I think right now there’s more safety. You hit one into the net, OK, that’s over. We have the net right there and you can keep your focus on the game.”

Around this time last year, Craig noted that the players in particular seem to be very much in favor of extending the protective netting.

Zolecki reports that the Phillies invited season-ticket holders with seats behind the dugout to take a look at the field from behind the extended netting. Of the 175 people to show up, none cancelled their season tickets and only 10 asked to have their seats relocated.

Mike Stiles, Phillies executive VP and COO, said, “Since we started playing, we’ve had no complaints. The comments that we’re getting right now is, ‘It’s not interfering with our ability to watch the game,’ and ‘We appreciate being behind the netting.'”

Stiles continued, “Our players have been good about flipping balls lightly over the netting so they’re still getting some foul balls. It’s been a very positive experience. It was the right move, and I think we did it the right way giving people an opportunity to come look. If they wanted to move, they could.”

Mark Melancon is considering surgery

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

Watch: Javier Baez snares a 106-MPH ground ball

Getty Images
6 Comments

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.