The Mets are making "a hard push" to get Rod Barajas

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Barajas headshot.jpgSo much for Josh Thole: starting catcher.  Rosenthal:

The Mets are making “a hard push” for free-agent catcher Rod Barajas and negotiating with him on a one-year deal, according to major-league sources.

Little known fact: the name “Rod Barajas” is the California-ized version of “Bengie Molina.” Both roughly translate to “decent power, awful on-base skills.”

That said, if bringing in Barajas means that the chances of Omir Santos winning the starting job in a one-on-one competition with Thole are eliminated, it probably represents an improvement.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.