While it took a little bit longer than he would have liked, Evan Gattis finally has his first hit with the Astros.
Gattis entered tonight’s action 0-for-20 with 12 strikeouts through his first five games this season. He lined out, grounded out, and struck out in his first three at-bats tonight against the Athletics to extend his hitless streak to a ghastly 0-for-23, but he was finally able to get off the schneid with a single to left field in the top of the ninth inning. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Gattis elicited the biggest cheers of the night from the home crowd at Minute Maid Park. That has to feel good after he was booed for striking out in eight straight plate appearances last week.
Taking things back even further, this was actually Gattis’ first hit since last September 6. Brian McTaggart of MLB.com notes that he was 0-for-36 during that time.
According to Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday.
Bonilla entered camp with a chance to make the Opening Day roster as a reliever or starter, but he went down toward the end of spring training with what was termed as a right elbow impingement. Now he’ll be sidelined through the early part of 2016.
Bonilla, 24, has posted big strikeout numbers in the minors and had a 3.05 ERA and 17/12 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings in his first stint in the majors last season.
Brett Gardner exited tonight’s game against the Orioles after he was hit in the right wrist by a pitch, but Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that X-rays came back negative.
Gardner was hit by a pitch from Wei-Yin Chen in the first inning and remained in the game until Stephen Drew came up as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. It actually worked out great for the Yankees, as Drew hit a go-ahead grand slam off Tommy Hunter. The Yankees went on to win 6-5.
Fortunately for the Yankees, it sounds like Gardner dodged a bullet and should be back in action soon. The 31-year-old is batting .261/.393/.435 across his first six games this season.
Prior to tonight, new Cubs left-hander Jon Lester hadn’t made a pickoff throw to first base since April 30, 2013. That’s right, nearly two years. If you watch the video linked here, you’ll know why.
Here’s a look at the aftermath of pickoff throw in the second inning tonight:
Anthony Rizzo is lucky he didn’t get seriously hurt here. He ran into the runner’s path back to first base and could have injured his knee. Fortunately, Jorge Soler bailed out Lester with a fantastic throw to nail Zack Cozart at third base. Lester and the Cubs keep trying to downplay any talks of him having the “yips” with pickoff throws, but teams are going to keep running on him until he finds a way to combat it.
By the way, Lester gave up six runs on 10 hits over six innings against the Reds tonight. His ERA sits at 7.84 through two starts with Chicago.
Correction: This was Lester’s second pickoff throw of the game. The initial version of this post indicated that this was his first. My apologies for the error.
After being given his release by the Dodgers earlier today, right-handed reliever Ryan Webb has signed a minor league deal with the Indians. He has been assigned to Triple-A Columbus.
Webb was traded from the Orioles to the Dodgers just one week ago. While it looked like he would function as bullpen depth with his new club, the Dodgers ultimately covered Webb’s $2.75 million salary in order to secure a competitive balance pick (No. 74 overall) in this year’s draft.
The 29-year-old Webb was useful out of Baltimore’s bullpen last season, posting a 3.83 ERA and 37/12 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings over 51 appearances. It probably won’t be long before we see him in the majors again.