The “candlesticks scene” from Bull Durham
has forever taken most of the mystique out of players holding
conferences on the mound, but the “exchange” that A.J. Burnett and
Kevin Cash had yesterday was still pretty amusing.
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News explains:
At one point in the fifth inning, Burnett threw a couple of bad
pitches that made Cash believe he needed a little break. Cash didn’t
have any words of wisdom for his pitcher, so he made his way to the
mound, picked up the rosin bag, dropped it back to the ground and
headed back to the plate.
“I didn’t say anything, I just let him catch his breath for a
minute,” Cash said. “He had just thrown a couple of pitches off the
plate, and I didn’t have anything to say, but I walked out there and
bought some time, let him settle back in.”
Burnett was very confused. “I thought he was going to say something,
then he didn’t,” Burnett said. “It was one of those moments. I was
expecting something, but there was nothing. Maybe he just wanted to
stir it up a little. I was like, ‘Good talk, Cash.'”
Okay, let’s get two! Go get ’em!
First baseman/outfielder José Martínez agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals on Saturday, per a team announcement. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Martínez will receive $3.25 million in the deal plus incentives if he earns a more stable place within the starting lineup.
Martínez, 30, played 887 games in the minors before making his major-league debut with the Cardinals at the tail end of the 2016 season. The veteran first baseman has been nothing but productive in the three years since his debut, however, and turned in a career-best performance in 2018 after slashing .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs, an .821 OPS, and 2.3 fWAR through 590 plate appearances. While he brings some positional flexibility to the table, he’ll be forced to compete against Dexter Fowler and Tyler O'Neill for a full-time gig in right field this year, as Paul Goldschmidt currently has a lock on first base.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the extension wasn’t solely precipitated by Martínez’s productivity in the majors, but by a competing offer from an unnamed Japanese team over the offseason. Goold adds that Martínez would have earned “significantly more than he would in the majors” had the club sold his rights. In the end, they ultimately elected to ink him to a more lucrative deal themselves. He’ll be eligible for arbitration in 2020.