I didn’t mention this in ATH because I was more interested in the origin of Dan Uggla’s last name, but it’s worth noting that Dodgers prospect Jerry Sands made his major league debut last night and it was good.
Sands had a double in the first inning that may have scored a faster man than James Loney, who was on first at the time. He drove in his first run with a sac fly in the third. The next inning he lost a ball in the lights momentarily but recovered nicely and made the catch. By then the Dodger Stadium crowd was chanting “Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” There hasn’t been a ton to cheer about in that ballpark this season. You could tell they were happy to have a palate cleanser like this.
Sands struck out in his other two at-bats, but that’s OK. It was a good debut. And as he represents an upgrade in talent over Tony Gwynn Jr., the left field job is likely his if his production comes close to meeting that talent.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.