Two weeks later, Christian Yelich loses three-hit debut

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A scoring change from the July 26 Marlins-Rockies game came down on Friday, costing Christian Yelich his third hit from his major league debut.

Yelich’s third single of the game was a hard grounder at a drawn-in D.J. LeMahieu playing second base. The ball handcuffed LaMehieu and bounced over his shoulder, though LeMahieu was able to pick it back up and turn it into a close play at first base. On Friday, it was changed to an error on LeMahieu instead of single.

Now, it’s hardly unique for error decisions to be overturned on appeal a couple of weeks after the fact, but this is still a pretty odd one. It was definitely a tough play for LeMahieu, and I’m guessing the majority of official scorers would have given Yelich a hit on it. But it’s really surprising anyone felt the need to appeal in the first place, given that the play didn’t lead to any additional earned/unearned runs. Jose Fernandez did score on the grounder, but the error isn’t going to assume he would have been thrown out at home and change that run to unearned. Giancarlo Stanton followed it by lining into a double play, so no additional runs scored. Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin sees his ERA remain unchanged by the decision.

So, yes, it a minor event and not really worth griping about. But I don’t see why MLB felt the need to overturn this one.

Here is the Yelich highlight clip from the game. The hit/error in question starts at the 30-second mark.

Rays sign lefty Ryan Merritt to a minor league deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.

Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.

His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.

The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.