Livan Hernandez, Pat Burrell pull the forks out of their backs

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Burrell homer.jpgAt least temporarily. Yesterday Pat Burrell homered during the completion of the Rays-Red Sox game that was suspended on Friday, and then he had a three-run double in the
scheduled game
.  He hadn’t had any home runs or RBI entering play yesterday and was below the Mendoza Line. Overall that’s five straight wins for the Rays, who are doing nothing to make me sorry for picking them to finish ahead of the Sox this year.

But Burrell’s exploits weren’t as unexpected as Livan Hernandez’s. It may be lost in the noise of a no-hitter and a marathon game, but  Hernandez has started out the season with 16 scoreless innings,
including last night’s shutout of the Brewers.  This from a guy who the Nationals didn’t really even want to sign this offseason.

Saturday gave us all kinds of unexpected things. Big performances from Pat the Bat and Livan may have been the most unexpected.

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.