It took five professional seasons and more than 2,300 plate appearances, but Bryce Harper finally faced a pitcher younger than him today when he matched up against Yankees reliever Jacob Lindgren.
Harper, who’s 22 years and 237 days old, flied out to left field against Lindgren, who’s 22 years and 90 days old.
While facing exclusively pitchers older than him before this afternoon Harper hit .300 with a .917 OPS in the minors and .280 with an .865 OPS in the majors.
Jedd Gyorko signed a six-year, $35 million contract with the Padres last April after just one full season in the majors. Since then he’s hit .210 in 157 games and today the Padres demoted the 26-year-old second baseman to Triple-A.
Gyorko had a rough, injury filled 2014 season and he’s been even less productive this year, hitting .210 with two homers and a .593 OPS in 46 games.
Of late manager Bud Black has turned to Cory Spangenberg as the primary second baseman, leaving Gyorko without much of a role. He totaled just six plate appearances this month, all of them coming off the bench, and hasn’t started back-to-back games since May 19 and 20. Which is odd considering he hit .279 with a .796 OPS in May, showing signs of life.
Gyorko remains part of the Padres’ plans by virtue of being owed $4 million in 2016, $6 million in 2017, $9 million in 2018, and $13 million in 2019. And right now he looks like a prime example of how not all early long-term extensions for promising young players end up favoring the team.
American League home run leader Nelson Cruz is out of the Mariners’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Indians after leaving Tuesday’s game with back spasms.
In in his absence Seattle is using Mark Trumbo in right field and Seth Smith at designated hitter versus right-hander Trevor Bauer.
Cruz led the league with 40 homers last season while playing on a one-year deal with the Orioles and then cashed in as a free agent, signing a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners. So far so good, as the 34-year-old right fielder/designated hitter is batting .326 with 18 homers and a .988 OPS in 58 games.