I think I’m going to have to start a Ballplayer Pet Hall of Fame. Not for the pets themselves — all pets are Hall of Famers in my book — but for the ballplayers who have the good taste to love cats, which most of you know is my pet of choice.
Matt Duffy is already in there. Mat Latos and his cat, Cat Latos. Greg Bird and Mr. Delicious. Kevin Kiermaier is not an inductee, but there’s going to be a large instructional exhibit about him given his past issues with cats. Kind of a cautionary tale thing.
The latest inductee: Nationals catcher Matt Wieters, who posed with his pet kitty Jalapeño in the Nationals team pet calendar, the proceeds of which go to the Humane Rescue Alliance of Washington, D.C.:
As the Post notes, he’s the only cat guy on there. Which is weird. I mean, yes, I understand the appeal of a good dog (they’re all good dogs, Brent), but you’d think that more ballplayers would like cats given how much easier it is to travel when you have cats. Ten game road trip? Have the neighbor feed the thing, like, twice. No problem.
Oh well. To each his own. But kudos to Wieters for representing Cat Nation. Even if doing so means that Jalapeño now needs months of therapy after being dragged out of its house and driven to the ballpark for a photo shoot. Cats are great, but my God they’re a pain in the butt sometimes.
(thanks to Wes for the heads up)
Newly acquired third baseman Todd Frazier spent his first five games with the Yankees on the road, playing once in Minnesota and four games in Seattle. He was set to take his first at-bat as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night against the Reds. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go how he likely expected them.
The Yankees quickly loaded the bases on consecutive singles from Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorius, and Chase Headley to lead off the bottom of the second inning. That brought up Frazier in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium. He got ahead in the count 3-1 against Luis Castillo before hitting a sharp grounder to shortstop Jose Peraza. Gregorius went back to second base because he thought the ball had a chance to be caught on a line. Peraza stepped on the second base bag, then fired to first base for the double play. Votto then threw across the diamond to Eugenio Suarez at third base, catching Gregorius out in no man’s land. Holliday scored in the meantime, breaking a 0-0 tie, but Gregorius was eventually called out for running out of the base line in a run down.
Frazier entered the evening with just two hits (both singles) and one walk in 18 plate appearances as a Yankee.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Brewers have agreed to a deal with the White Sox for reliever Anthony Swarzak. The White Sox will receive 3B/OF Ryan Cordell in return.
It’s no secret that the 53-48 first-place Brewers are on the hunt for relief help. While closer Corey Knebel has been great, the Brewers have been shaky leading up to the ninth inning as Carlos Torres owns a 4.65 ERA and Oliver Drake 5.05.
Swarzak, 31, has posted a 2.23 ERA with a 52/13 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings this season. He can become a free agent after the season.
Cordell, 25, hit .284/.349/.506 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI in 292 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He’s the Brewers’ No. 17 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.