Remember Donovan Tate? He was the third overall pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, taken by the San Diego Padres. He was chosen ahead of such players as Mike Trout, James Paxton and Garrett Richards.
He played in the Padres organization for five seasons and then, last year, toiled in the Dodgers system for 10 whole games. He never made out out of A-ball in those six seasons, primarily due to injury problems and a drug problem that caused him to miss the entire 2014 season.
Tate was a highly-regarded high school quarterback before choosing baseball, so now he’s trying to pull a Reverse Tebow:
The Arizona Wildcats are adding another name to their starting quarterback competition, and it’s a player who is eight years removed from his football career. Donavan Tate, the third overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, will join Rich Rodriguez’s team as a 26-year-old freshman.
Actually, this is less a Reverse Tebow than it is a Chris Weinke, you may recall, played six seasons in the Blue Jays organization before quitting baseball, going back to college at age 25 and leading the Florida State Seminoles to the national championship. He even won the Heisman Trophy at age 28, giving Tate something to shoot for.
Tate is not getting a scholarship. The Padres, as many team do for their high school draft picks, will pay his tuition.
Good luck, Donovan.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”