Aaron Gleeman said this yesterday after Miguel Batista got released by the Mets:
It’s hard to imagine Batista getting another big-league job at this point, but then again I’ve been saying that since about 2008.
He’ll get a chance to say it again, because the Braves just signed Batista.
Atlanta had Livan Hernandez for a while this year and then they released him, so I’m not sure why they want a less-durable, more literary version of him. I guess they just missed having a way-past-his-sell-date former Washington Nationals swingman on the roster. We all have our kinks.
Batista pitched 46 and two-thirds innings for the Mets this year, starting in five games and coming out of the pen for 25. He notched a 4.82 ERA and struck out 34 while walking 31 (!) batters.
If any of you are seeing anything in that stat line that I’m missing which would help a team with pretensions of contending, please feel free to point it out to me in the comments. Because I’m at a total loss.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.