Yahoo!’s Tim Brown tweets that the Yankees are nearing a one-year deal with Andruw Jones. This after a weekend of reports that had the Yankees interested at one turn and balking at the next. Could go either way, really, but there’s a feeling of two steps forward, one step back to all of this, and that the Yankees are shuffling towards having Jones as their designated lefty-masher. He mashed to the tune of .256/.373./.558 against southpaws last year.
Overall he hit .230/.341/.486 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI for the White Sox last season. That’s good, but it’s not enough to get him a full-time look at the DH position with the Bombers thanks to Jorge Posada filling the slot. But between platooning at the corners, days off and injuries, you figure that New York can use Jones about as much as he should be used. Anything more and they’re probably pushing him past his limits.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.