I mentioned this in the recaps, but this is worth its own post: Giancarlo Stanton’s homer off Jamie Moyer last night was something to behold. For a couple of reasons.
First, it was a freaking shotgun blast. It left the bat at 122.4 miles per hour according to ESPN’s home run stats thingy. That’s the fastest since they began keeping track six years ago.
Second, it knocked out some lights on the scoreboard, as you can see in the pic to the right. Yes, it’s an LED thing and not old school light bulbs so it’s not exactly the same thing — it’ll probably be fixed with a simple reboot or something — but it’s still pretty impressive.
The official distance was 438 feet, but that’s just because it was stopped by an immovable object. One wonders what kind of distance the ball — which was still rising according to those who watched it — would have made had it been hit in a park with an open left field.
The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.
The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.
The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.