The Royals are about to call up Rick Ankiel from Omaha, where he has put up a batting line of .270/.281/.556 in 63 at bats while rehabbing. Meanwhile, Alex Gordon is batting .315/.442/.577 in 260 at bats since being sent down, presumably to learn left field.
Query: given Ankiel’s injury history and his own defensive limitations, why on Earth isn’t Alex Gordon getting the shot in Kansas City’s outfield instead of Ankiel?
The only reason I can possibly think of is that the Royals think they can trade Ankiel and want to showcase him for a bit, but that’s a bit delusional, ain’t it? Guy hasn’t played in the majors for nearly three months.
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.