UPDATE: Make it 6-0. Delmon Young singled and Johnny Peralta homered. Then Andy Dirks doubled and Joe Girardi came and got Sabathia. There are still many innings to play here, but, it looks the Tigers are World Series bound.
5:41 PM: Make it 4-0: Miguel Cabrera just hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth.
5:33 PM: Like so many games this series a small lead in terms of runs feels like a bigger lead in terms of momentum. The Tigers are up 2-0 after three and a half innings, but the vibe of the game has them up by half a dozen.
Detroit scored their runs via a Delmon Young single in the first and a rally — if you can call one run a rally — in the third that could have easily led to more runs.
Prince Fielder singled, Delmon Young walked — like, he really walked — and then with two outs the Yankees put on the clownshoes: Mark Teixeira made a rather theatrical looking error on a bounding ball which loaded the bases for Andy Dirks. Dirks hit a chopper up the middle which CC Sabathia just missed. Eduardo Nunez fielded it deep behind the second base bag, but was twisting as he fielded it and ended up firing the throw into the dirt. He was lucky it didn’t get past Teixeira at first. Fielder scored.
We’re now in the top of the fourth. CC Sabathia has already thrown 73 pitches and doesn’t look like he has his best stuff at all. Max Scherzer, in contrast, has seven strikeouts while facing 14 batters through four innings of work. And not a one of them was A-Rod.
It’s not dark yet for the Yankees. But it’s getting there.
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.