Chris Getz aggravated his rib cage injury yesterday, so the Royals have placed the second baseman on the disabled list while calling up left-hander Will Smith from Triple-A to fill a long relief role.
Getz’s injury seemingly opens the door for the Royals to actually give 24-year-old prospect Johnny Giavotella regular action at second base, but then again they’ve turned down other chances to do that and manager Ned Yost might again decide 28-year-old career minor leaguer Irving Falu is somehow more deserving of the starts.
Smith was acquired from the Angels for Alberto Callaspo and Sean O’Sullivan in 2010 and the 22-year-old had a 4.01 ERA and 37/13 K/BB ratio in 52 innings as a starter at Triple-A. He may eventually get jiggy with it in the rotation if a spot starter is needed (also: sorry).
UPDATE: Yup, sure enough Falu is starting at second base tonight. Sigh.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.
Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.
Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.
Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.