The Tigers and Victor Martinez finalize their deal

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V-Mart has passed his physical and is now officially a Detroit Tiger. Deep thoughts:

  • I don’t like the “first initial, first few letters of the last name” nickname construction like “V-Mart,” but  I do wish that someone named “Sam Martinez” would become a big star so I could call him S-Mart;
  • If only they had done this two days ago before the Red Sox had offered him arbitration then the Tigers wouldn’t have to give up a first round pick.  Or, I suppose the Sox could have just offered it earlier. Maybe double-secret deals and offers would help us out here;
  • The Tigers may be pretty darn tough in the AL Central next season.  I don’t think they’ll stay tough over the length of Martinez’s contract, but they’ll be good next year.

 

 

Yasmani Grandal played himself out of NLCS Game 4

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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.