Yesterday Carlos Zambrano said that Athletics’ pitcher Jerry Blevins “got lucky” that Z didn’t hit a home run when he was sitting fastball and got one during a pinch-hitting appearance. I wasn’t there, but I can’t really feature Zambrano meaning that comment as a serious dig at Blevins. But Blevins thought it was:
“I did get lucky. Any time they don’t pinch-hit
for a pitcher to face me, I’m lucky. I’ve gotten a lot better hitters
out than him. He’s a good hitting pitcher, but he’s still a pitcher. Yes
I’m lucky — for them not pinch-hitting.”
What is it with A’s pitchers
that make them so damn defensive? Is Blevins from the 209 too? They should play this clip on the Oakland scoreborad about ten times a game.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.