The Blue Jays are finally ready to reward top catching prospect J.P. Arencibia for the astronomic numbers that he has posted this season at Triple-A Las Vegas. With John Buck needing a stint on the disabled list due to a laceration on his hand, the 24-year-old Arencibia had his contract purchased on Wednesday afternoon.
Arencibia was drafted in the first round of the 2007 first-year player drafted and has flashed solid power numbers at nearly every minor league stop. This year he’s managed a Pacific Coast League-leading 31 home runs in 379 at-bats, along with 79 RBI and a total of 71 runs scored.
The Jays are hoping he will carry some of that “pop” with him to Toronto, where he is likely to start behind the plate for Friday’s series-opener against the Rays. If Arencibia proves capable of handling major league pitching in his first tour through the bigs, the Blue Jays could let John Buck walk this winter.
Buck was signed to a one-year contract this offseason and has produced at a better-than-expected rate, but Arencibia is cheaper and already more talented. We’ll get an abrupt chance over the next two weeks to see if he is also more productive.
Major League Baseball told Kolten Wong to ditch Hawaii tribute sleeve
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Major League Baseball has told Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong that he has to get rid of the colorful arm sleeve he’s been wearing, pictured above, that pays tribute to his native Hawaii and seeks to raise awareness of recovery efforts from the destruction caused by the erupting Mount Kilauea.
[Wong] has been notified by Major League Baseball that he will face a fine if he continues to wear an unapproved sleeve that features Hawaiian emblem. Wong said he will stash the sleeve, like Jose Martinez had to do with his Venezuelan-flag sleeve, and find other ways to call attention to his home island.
None of these guys are being singled out, it seems. Rather, this is all part of a wider sweep Major League Baseball is making with respect to the uniformity of uniforms. As Goold notes at the end of his piece, however, MLB has no problem whatsoever with players wearing a non-uniform article of underclothing as long as it’s from an MLB corporate sponsor. Such as this sleeve worn by Marcell Ozuna, and supplied by Nike that, last I checked, were not in keeping with the traditional St. Louis Cardinals livery:
If Nike was trying to get people to buy Hawaii or Venezuela compression sleeves, I’m sure there would be no issue here. They’re not, however, and it seems like creating awareness and support for people suffering from natural, political and humanitarian disasters do not impress the powers that be nearly as much.