When you have a six hour ballgame in a three hour television slot, something has to give. Usually it’s whatever is scheduled for after that slot. But not in Baltimore yesterday:
The Orioles used designated hitter Chris Davis to pitch the 16th and 17th, and he got the win after a 3-run home run by centerfielder Adam Jones. The Red Sox were also pitching their DH. Except if you were watching WJZ, you missed that unbelievable finale, because the station cut away from the game at 7 p.m. (in the 15th inning) to carry “60 Minutes.”
The game was still available on MASN, and a large percentage of people — and I’d guess a majority of die-hard Orioles fans — have MASN in the area. But not everyone does, so some folks got boned out of seeing the end of that crazy game.
But hey: Steve Kroft and Morley Safer.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.