“Is this heaven?”
“No, Tyler. It’s Iowa.”
Cubs’ outfielder/first baseman Tyler Colvin has been sent down to AAA. This despite a rookie campaign that showed some promise. Indeed, it may have been too good to be true: 20 homers and 56 RBIs in 358 at-bats despite not doing a ton in the minors to suggest that such performance in the majors was possible. And it does seem that 2010 performance was either a bit premature for his place on the development curve or rather flukey, because this season he’s just not getting the job done. He’s hitting just .113 with two homers.
Replacing Colvin on the roster is Tony Campana who, while not a power hitter like Colvin, is hitting .342/.383/.442 down in Iowa so far this season.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.