I don’t guess one game of a doubleheader is usually that notable, but since it was the only day game today the Mets-Nats affair got my attention. And even if it hadn’t beforehand, man, it would have after it got going.
The Mets demolished the Nationals 11-0. Jenrry Mejia got the start for New York and tossed seven shutout innings, striking out seven. Daniel Murphy was a one-man wrecking crew, going 4 for 5 with two homers. Ike Davis even got in on the act, hitting a three-run homer long after the game was decided.
About that Davis homer: it came off Drew Storen. And why Storen was pitching in the first place is a mystery. He came down with the flu overnight, and before the game Davey Johnson said that it was most likely that Storen would be unavailable for the day “unless he has a dramatic recovery.” But there he was in the ninth, coming in a game with runners on base. He gave up an RBI single to David Wright on his first pitch. An RBI double on his third pitch. The homer to Davis on his fourth. Davey basically made him wear this one.
Not everyone was happy with it. One of the unhappy ones: Drew Storen’s dad:
I gave half a thought to the Nationals maybe bouncing back after yesterday’s walkoff win. But baseball doesn’t work that way. And the hot, sticky mess that is their 2013 season continues.
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.