From FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi comes word that the Orioles have acquired outfielder Eric Thames from the Mariners in exchange for minor league infielder Ty Kelly. Thames has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, where he will function as organizational outfield depth for Baltimore.
Thames was designated for assignment by Seattle on May 22 to clear a 40-man roster spot for the return of Franklin Gutierrez, who is already back on the disabled list. Thames, a 26-year-old California native, was batting .295/.382/.479 with seven home runs and 33 RBI in 57 games at Triple-A Tacoma when the M’s waived him.
Kelly, a 13th-round pick of the Orioles in 2009, has a .759 career OPS in the minor leagues.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.