Cito Gaston doesn’t dig this whole new-fangled interleague play thing. After losing his closer Scott Downs to injury while running to first base on Wednesday, he encountered more trouble by messing up a double-switch in Thursday’s game.
Gaston intended to take out Brandon League and put in Jason Frasor,
while swapping out catcher Raul Chavez in favor of Rod Barajas, so that
Barajas could lead off in the top of the ninth in the pitcher’s spot,
but you see, he went ahead and screwed that whole thing up.
“I thought about it, and then after I
went to the mound, then you couldn’t do it. You have to approach the
umpire first before you do that and I went to the mound. If I had the
intentions of doing it, I screwed it up — you couldn’t do it.”
Even though Frasor came in and allowed a game-tying single to Shane
Victorino, the mistake was forgiven when Barajas appeared as a
pinch-hitter and launched a solo home run to secure an 8-7 win. Still,
the error was eerily reminiscent of another legendary coach
who returned to his place of former dominance, only to forget the rules
at an inopportune moment. Hey, at least he’s not stealing batteries.
The Tampa Bay Rays were reported this week to be “open for business” as far as trades go. Normally that means nothing happens until late June or something. The Rays are getting right down to it, though, as they’ve just traded closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners, who have played some outstanding ball lately thanks to some outstanding starting pitching, and are looking to bolster other areas as they make a push in the AL West, will likely slot Colome into a setup role in front of closer Edwin Diaz. Span will take over center field, allowing Dee Gordon to, eventually anyway, once he recovers from a fractured toe, cover for the suspended Robinson Cano at second base. If the M’s make the playoffs he’d likely do so in the postseason too, given that Cano will be ineligible for any October play due to his suspension.
Colome has saved 11 games for the Rays, with a 4.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 23/8 in 21.2 innings.Span is hitting .238/.364/.385 with four homers and six stolen bases on the season.
Two players are going back to the Rays: righties Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Moore was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2015 and made his big league debut last season, pitching 59 innings in 2018 but back in the minors so far in 2018. Romero was a 15th rounder for Seattle in 2017 and is currently plying his trade in A-ball.
The Rays, as expected, are using the 2018 season to acquire prospects. The Mariners, who are unexpectedly strong in the early going, are trying to go for it even harder. Quite a big trade for late May.