Multiple sources are reporting that the Mariners have traded Mike Sweeney to the Phillies for cash considerations and a player to be named later.
Um, OK. Sweeney is hitting .263/.327/.475 this year. Although the present tense is a bit misleading, in that he hasn’t played since June 25th. He’s only played in 30 games total, 21 of which were as a DH, six as a pinch hitter and only three games at first base. His most intense action this year, however, has come challenging his teammates to fights and browbeating and intimidating reporters who say negative things about his team.
With no real openings for “designated hardass” on this team, my guess is that the Phillies will platoon Sweeney at first base with Ross Gload. The more he plays, the better I like the Braves chances.
UPDATE: Holy moley! Charlie Manuel just said that the starting job is Sweeney’s! Mike Sweeney hasn’t been a regular first baseman for a good five years, so this should be . . . interesting.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.