It was really, really late to be finishing up a baseball game. Or really early. Both I guess. This one ended just after 3AM with a 4-2 Royals victory over the Cardinals following a four hour-rain plus delay.
It was actually the second rain delay of the game, as the thing started an hour late at the outset. The game began after a one hour rain delay and was delayed again for nearly five hours in the ninth inning. But it was right to keep the game open in my view. See, the ninth inning started, the Royals scored three runs and loaded the bases with no one out. When the rains came the umpire crew could have just said “ballgame,” but that would have nullified the Royals’ rally as things would have reverted to where they were at the end of the last completed inning, giving the Cards the win.
Joe West’s crew obviously didn’t want to do that. And while it made for a late, late night for all involved — and with a ballpark that was basically empty — at least the game was decided by the players and not the umpires.
Well, it was also decided by Mike Matheny, who decided to put Mitchell Boggs in for the top of the ninth in a one-run game for reasons that make sense only to him, but that’s still better than Joe West deciding the game.
The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.
Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.
The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.
In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.