Tough news for the Yankees. According to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, Alfonso Soriano was a late scratch from today’s lineup against the Red Sox due to a sprained right thumb.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Soriano apparently injured the thumb diving for a ball in Baltimore this week and has been bothered by it ever since. Early word is that it’s a day-to-day type of injury, so the Yankees will have to hope that it’s nothing more than that. They already lost outfielder Brett Gardner to a strained oblique on Thursday.
Soriano has been fantastic since returning to the Yankees on July 26, batting .251/.299/.525 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI in 46 games. He leads the majors in home runs and RBI during that timespan.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.