Derek Dietrich

Chase Headley

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Maybe the most boring ATH of the year. Really, every game was “pitcher pitches OK but not dominant and he got enough offense but no one truly went hog wild.” I’d say it made my choice to watch TV instead of baseball last night a good one, but the TV I decided to watch was, finally, the season finale of “True Detective” and that was a total disaster. So what I’m saying is that Monday night was super lame. Anyway:

Yankees 8, Twins 7: The Yankees loaded the bases in the tenth with no one out, so the Twins went to a pulled-in, five-man infield. Chase Headley grounded sharply to Eduardo Nunez. Should’ve been at least an out at home, maybe a double play even. Nope: Nunez bobbled it and it turned into a walkoff groundout. Brian McCann had a big game: he homered, drove in five and hit a tenth inning double which put two men on and inspired Paul Molitor to load the bases for Headley. The play of the game everyone wanted to talk about, though, was the comebacker to Bryan Mitchell’s face. It was scary, but he ended up with “only” a broken nose and was back in the dugout by the end of the game.

Cardinals 2, Giants 1: Michael Wacha was dominant and Stephen Piscotty tripled and scored in the eighth. After the game reporters asked Wacha if this was some sort of atonement for giving up the walkoff homer to the Giants in Game 5 of last year’s NLCS. Wacha: “Everyone tries to amp it up and make a story out of it, but I was just trying to approach it just like another game.” Irresistible force: reporters trying to fashion narratives. Immovable object: players taking it one day at a time. It’s the eternal struggle.

Orioles 4, Athletics 2: The O’s complete the sweep in a series that wrapped around until Monday which is, basically, against the laws of both God and Man. Steve Clevenger hit a three-run homer. In Sunday’s rout he had four hits. Not bad for a dude who just got called up on Friday. The A’s seven-game road trip comes to an end. They went 0-7 on it. Tonight they’re back west but they have to face Clayton Kershaw, so that’s great for them.

Diamondbacks 4, Pirates 1: Jeremy Hellickson beats Gerrit Cole by pitching one-run ball into the sixth and with the help of his own RBI single and a Jake Lamb homer. Five relievers followed Hellickson because that’s 21st century baseball.

Indians 8, Red Sox 2: Danny Salazar had his fourth straight start in which he’s given up one run or less and Lonnie Chisenhall had a solo homer and three RBI. A five-run fourth inning off of Matt Barnes.

Rangers 4, Mariners 3: The Fernando Rodney Experience was in action in the ninth as the Mariners closer gave up two bunt singles, hit a dude and then walked in the winning run. Kudos to Lloyd McClendon for using his closer on the road in a tie game, which goes against The Book. Unfortunately his closer is Fernando Rodney. UPDATE: Forgot that Rodney got demoted. Never mind then. It was a poop-show all around. The Rangers are now only a half game behind the Angles for second place in the AL West and one game out of the second wild card spot.

Marlins 6, Brewers 2: The Marlins win for the fifth time in seven games. Justin Nicolino pitched into the seventh and Derek Dietrich hit a two-run home. Dee Gordon had two hits, two RBI, scored a run and stole a base.

Rays 9, Astros 2: Tim Beckham hit a three-run homer and Asdrubal Cabrera drove in three. Fun fact: the Rays have a better record than the Washington Nationals.

Angels 2, White Sox 1: C.J. Cron and Albert Pujols each homered and Andrew Heaney allowed one run over six. Carlos Rondon tossed a complete game loss. That’s at least the second time one of those has happened in a week or so.

Padres 5, Braves 3: Colin Rea won his first big league start last week and wins his second big league start here. Only 509 to catch Cy Young. The Padres scored three runs on four hits off Braves pitcher William Perez in the second inning so he had some breathing room.

 

The Marlins are screwing over one of their players… again

Marcell Ozuna
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When the Marlins demoted starting center fielder Marcell Ozuna on July 5, it made some sense. Sure, they had no one to replace him, but he was in a lengthy slump and 10-14 days in Triple-A might have been just the thing to restore his confidence at the plate.

And it was. Ozuna hit .325 with two homers and four doubles in his first 10 games back in the minors. But he wasn’t recalled.

Two weeks later, Ozuna is still rotting away in Triple-A while the Marlins play Christian Yelich out of position in center and Cole Gillespie, Ichiro Suzuki and recently Derek Dietrich in the corners. Ichiro played in 24 games and got 77 at-bats last month, hitting .195/.250/.234.

Ozuna has kept producing through all of this, hitting .314/.372/.558 in 24 games in Triple-A. It’s really hard to imagine that he’s not one of the Marlins’ three-best outfielders right now. Even his disappointing major league line of .249/.301/.337 features an average, an OBP and a slugging percentage better than Ichiro’s.

But, of course, the Marlins have reasons to keep Ozuna down. Financial reasons. Money reasons. Jeffrey Loria reasons. See, Ozuna entered the 2015 season with one year and 153 days of service time, practically assuring that he would be super-two arbitration eligible if he remained in the majors. That’s not going to happen now. If he were recalled today, he’d already be a long shot to qualify for super two. If the Marlins wait another week, it’s a given that he’ll miss the cut off.

So, they’ll wait another week.

Ozuna’s continued presence in Triple-A is all about saving Loria a buck. His free agency timetable hasn’t changed, but losing out on that fourth year of arbitration will probably cost him $5 million-$10 million over these next few years. That’s apparently enough to make it worth it for Loria. He hasn’t even gotten the kind of negative publicity for it that he might if he were holding back a top prospect instead (oddly enough, the Marlins rarely hold back top prospects for service time considerations, which is why they get themselves into such situations later).

I do wonder, though, if this will really pay off for Loria in the long run. Ozuna is a Scott Boras client. Jose Fernandez is a Boras client. Lots of good players are Boras clients. Spiting him to save a couple of million per year doesn’t seem like the greatest of ideas.

Marlins’ Derek Dietrich drawing some trade interest

Derek Dietrich
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Marlins third baseman Derek Dietrich is drawing some trade interest. Teams see him as a regular third baseman or a second baseman.

Dietrich, 26, is under team control through 2019, but the Marlins would move him for the right return. In 82 plate appearances this season coming into Saturday’s action, he is hitting .301/.378/.548 with four home runs and six RBI.

Dietrich has spent most of his season with Triple-A New Orleans.