The Rangers have claimed infielder Ed Lucas on a waiver claim from the Marlins, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Lucas, 32, was a career minor leaguer until getting the call up to the show in 2013. In 573 big league plate appearances, Lucas hasn’t done a whole lot, hitting .255/.302/.323 with five home runs and 37 RBI. However, Lucas is versatile, having played all four infield positions as well as in the outfield corners to a lesser extent. He will wear many hats, serving as a utility guy for the Rangers.
Miami is already without second baseman Rafael Furcal and now his double-play partner, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, is headed to the disabled list with a strained triceps muscle.
Hechavarria was billed as a good-glove, no-hit shortstop when he defected from Cuba and his bat has lived up to the sub par billing with a .243 batting average and .595 OPS in 261 games. However, his defense has also rated poorly according to Ultimate Zone Rating, which pegs him as 9.1 runs below average per 150 games at shortstop.
Donovan Solano and Ed Lucas figure to split time at shortstop, with Derek Dietrich handling second base duties.
The Dodgers used six relievers to mop up the mess that Paul Maholm left last night. One of those six was Drew Butera. Catchers often have great arms for obvious reasons, but Butera’s was so great that you have to wonder why someone hasn’t turned him into a pitcher yet.
Butera pitched the ninth. He got a 1-2 count on Christian Yelich before forcing him to line out, a 2-1 count on Ed Lucas before getting him to ground out and then he struck out Marcell Ozuna on three straight swinging strikes. One of those strikes registered at 94 on the stadium gun, but BrooksBaseball said that last pitch was 95.1 m.p.h.. Another one of those strikes was on a 74 m.p.h. breaking ball.
This is the second time Butera has pitched. He did it once in 2012 and then, as now, pitched a scoreless inning while striking out a batter. Given that he’s a career .186/.236/.273 hitter, and given how much trouble the Dodgers’ bullpen has experienced this year, well, do I need to do the math for you?
The Marlins signed Rafael Furcal to a one-year, $3.5 million deal over the winter with the idea of using him as their regular second baseman and leadoff hitter, but he has yet to make his season debut due to injury. And now it looks like the wait will be even longer.
Furcal, who was forced to begin the year on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, suffered a groin strain last Friday during his first attempt at a minor league rehab assignment. While the 36-year-old returned to action last night with Double-A Jacksonville, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that he exited after four innings after reporting renewed groin discomfort.
“He’s super frustrated,” said Suns’ manager Andy Barkett, who has known Furcal for 15 years and was one of his Dominican winter ball teammates. “I’m doing all I can and he’s doing all he can. His body is just not cooperating with him right now.
Furcal went 1-for-2 with a single before exiting. He’s scheduled to be reevaluated today.
The Marlins have relied on multiple players at second base with Furcal on the shelf, including Derek Dietrich, Donovan Solano, Jeff Baker, and Ed Lucas. While they have combined for an underwhelming .214/.325/.311 batting line, they rank first in the National League with 19 runs scored and are tied for fifth with 13 RBI.
Yesterday must have been a real emotional roller-coaster for Marlins infielder Ed Lucas, who was told in the morning that he made the Opening Day roster and then fractured his left hand on a hit by pitch in the afternoon.
Lucas played semi-regularly for the Marlins last season as a 31-year-old rookie, but this would have been his first time on the active Opening Day roster following a decade in the minors. Now instead he’ll begin the season on the disabled list and Donovan Solano will snag a bench spot in his place.
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