So, yeah, it’s probably still a thousand-to-one shot, but in his rematch with the Twins tonight, Jered Weaver would seem to be better set up for back-to-back no-hitters than any pitcher in memory.
Here’s how tonight’s Twins lineup has hit right-handers this season:
CF Denard Span – .321
SS Brian Dozier – MLB debut (.316 in Triple-A)
C Joe Mauer – .214
DH Ryan Doumit – .269
3B Danny Valencia – .210
1B Chris Parmelee – .189
LF Trevor Plouffe – .056 (1-for-18)
RF Erik Komatsu – .125 (3-for-24)
2B Jamey Carroll – .186
That’s certainly a no-hittable lineup. Josh Willingham, who is hitting .300 against righties, isn’t playing, which can’t hurt Weaver’s chances.
For what it’s worth, the players above are a combined 18-for-91 against Weaver, good for a .198 average. Mauer, with a .280 average, and Valencia, who has two homers and a single in 12 at-bats, have hit him best.
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.