While Boston gets linked to every conceivable free agent out there, Sean McAdam of CSNNewEngland.com notes that it’s quite possible that the Red Sox’ next first baseman is already on the roster:
General manager Ben Cherington said at last week’s GM meetings that Jerry Sands could be a platoon option at first base.
Sands was the player to be named later in the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers last season. He only has 251 plate appearances under his belt, but he certainly does have a pronounced platoon split. Against righties, he hits .204/.301/.289. Against lefties: .316/.372/.532.
There’s a chance he still may figure it out against righties too — he’s a career .289/.376/.562 hitter in over 2000 minor league appearances overall — but even if he turns out to be a AAAA player as a full time guy, he could have some value in a platoon role.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.