Heading into the eighth inning of last night’s White Sox-Angels game Jeff Keppinger had yet to draw a walk in 140 plate appearances this season.
Angels reliever Michael Kohn was struggling to throw strikes, walking Conor Gillaspie and Dayan Viciedo back-to-back to load the bases with two outs for Keppinger, who came into the game with a lower on-base percentage (.182) than batting average (.185).
Four pitches later Keppinger was standing on first base with his first walk of the season, which forced in the go-ahead run (which proved to the game-winning run). So, to recap: Keppinger went (nearly) 33 games and 140 plate appearances without a walk, all while hitting .185, and then walked on four pitches with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of a tie game.
And yet people try to predict baseball.
Robert Murray reports that Brewers infielder Luis Urías underwent surgery to repair a fractured left hamate bone, suffered during a game in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. The club expects him to miss six to eight weeks, which likely means he will not start the regular season on time.
The Brewers acquired Urías from the Padres along with pitcher Eric Lauer in late November in exchange for pitcher Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham.
Last season with the Padres, Urías hit .223/.329/.326 across 249 plate appearances. While his offense isn’t anything to write home about, he does play above-average defense with the ability to play several positions.
Urías was slated to be the regular shortstop, so his late start likely means Orlando Arcia will get another chance to prove himself. Arcia has failed to live up to expectations across four seasons in the big leagues thus far.