The Astros knew that they’d have to live with strikeouts when they acquired Evan Gattis from the Braves over the winter, but this is a little extreme.
Gattis went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts for the second straight day on Thursday against the Indians. That’s not a category you want to be in. According to Baseball Reference, Gattis is the first player in Astros history to strike out four times in consecutive games. He’s also the first player since at least 1914 with two four-strikeout games within his team’s first three games in a season. Yikes.
Now 0-for-11 on the year and hearing boo-birds from the home crowd in Houston, Gattis summed up how he felt to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com:
“It’s embarrassing,” he said. “I’m pretty sure I’ve never done [0-for-4 with four strikeouts] in my career before [Wednesday], and then two in a row. … Yeah, it’s disappointing. I’m just a better hitter than what I’ve done so far this year.”
The all-time record for consecutive strikeouts from a non-pitcher is nine, which is shared by Mark Reynolds, Bo Jackson, Reggie Jackson, Eric Davis, Steve Balboni, and Adolfo Phillips. There’s some decent company in there, but Gattis will hope to avoid joining that club next time out.
Correction: Brian McTaggart informs me that the record for a non-pitcher was actually set by Rick Ankiel in 2013, with strikeouts in 10 consecutive plate appearances. So Gattis is two away. My apologies on that.
After going 1-for-6 with a single and a walk over the first two games of the season, Alex Rodriguez was moved into the No. 2 spot for tonight’s game against the Blue Jays. It appeared to be a sign of faith from Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Rodriguez rewarded that faith by taking rookie left-hander Daniel Norris deep in the bottom of the sixth inning for his first home run of the season. Check it out below:
Rodriguez missed the entire 2014 season while serving a PED suspension, so this was his first home run since September 20, 2013. He’s now up to 655 home runs for his career, which puts him five away from tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list. His contract calls for him to receive a $6 million milestone bonus for tying Mays, but the Yankees reportedly plan to try to get out of paying it. But that’s a controversy for another time. A-Rod is hitting home runs again and it looks like he’ll be a productive member of the Yankees lineup as long as he can remain healthy. That’s pretty fun.
The Red Sox were planning to have Steven Wright make a spot-start against the Yankees, but Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that they have changed course and now plan to activate Joe Kelly from the disabled list to make the start.
Kelly came down with biceps tendinitis during a Grapefruit League start on March 16 and has been working his way back in recent days. Red Sox manager John Farrell told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal that they made the decision after watching his most recent bullpen session on Wednesday. He’ll likely be limited to around 85-90 pitches in his season debut.
Kelly was acquired from the Cardinals last July along with Allen Craig in the John Lackey deal. The 26-year-old throws hard and owns a 3.41 ERA over 48 starts and 30 relief appearances in the majors, but he has averaged just 6.0 K/9 and could be in trouble with a move to the American League.
MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles have released catcher J.P. Arencibia.
Arencibia failed to make Baltimore’s Opening Day roster and was expected to report to Triple-A Norfolk, but there was apparently a change of plans. It’s worth noting that he was dealing with a strained right flexor mass toward the end of spring training.
Arencibia amassed 23 home runs and 78 RBI as a rookie with the Blue Jays in 2011, but his power hasn’t been able to offset his lack of plate discipline and poor defense behind the plate. The 29-year-old hit just .177 with .608 OPS over 222 plate appearances with the Rangers last season and now owns a .207/.255/.403 batting line in the majors.
UPDATE: The Padres announced that Kennedy exited the game with a left hamstring strain. This is an injury which could require a DL stint, but at least it’s not his arm.
7:25 p.m. ET: Concerning news here for the Padres…
According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, right-hander Ian Kennedy left his season debut against the Giants tonight in the third inning with an apparent injury. There was no obvious sign of what was ailing him, but he immediately signaled to the dugout after throwing a pitch. Odrisamer Despaigne replaced him in relief. We’ll pass along an update when it’s made available.
Kennedy, 30, is coming off a nice bounceback season where he posted a 3.63 ERA and 207/70 K/BB ratio in 201 innings across 33 starts.