Marlon Byrd made a terrific first impression with his new team, clubbing a two-run home run in his first at-bat as a Giant in Friday night in Pittsburgh against the Giants. The blast upped the Giants’ lead to 3-0 in the first inning.
The Reds sent Byrd to the Giants on Thursday in exchange for minor league pitcher Stephen Johnson. Byrd left the Reds batting .237/.286/.448 with 19 home runs and 42 RBI in 388 plate appearances.
Watch him go yard at PNC Park in his new Giants uniform:
With both center fielder Angel Pagan and right fielder Hunter Pence on the disabled list the Giants have swung a deal to get outfield help, acquiring Marlon Byrd from the Reds in exchange for minor leaguer Stephen Johnson.
Byrd is 37 years old and swings at everything–he’s hitting .237 with a 101/23 K/BB ratio–but he’s also got 19 homers in 96 games after totaling 49 homers in the previous two seasons. He has excellent right-handed pop and can step into the lineup in place of Pence at minimal cost.
Byrd is an impending free agent, so it’s a six-week pickup, and Johnson is 24-year-old, Double-A relief prospect and former sixth-round draft pick with good strikeout rates and poor control.
The low point of a low Reds season happened last night.
In the fifth inning the Reds loaded the bases. Jason Bourgeois was at third base. One out. Jay Bruce was at the plate and popped the ball up on the infield, just to the first base side of the mound. The call: infield fly rule in effect. That means that the batter is out, force plays are not in effect and the fielder doesn’t have to even catch the ball.
So, Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar watched the ball drop in front of him.
And then he watched Bourgeois break from third base. Hochevar thew home, Bourgeois was tagged out for a 1-2 double play and the inning was over:
If Bourgeois simply stays at third, the Reds are still in business. Bourgeois didn’t talk to the media after the game, but Bryan Price said it was an “instinctual” thing. He must’ve been thinking “ball on the ground, bases loaded, I HAVE to go!” Of course, the entire point of the infield fly rule is to avoid such an impetus and to take the gimme double play away from the team on defense.
Your 2015 Reds, folks.