In the seventh inning of Monday’s Brewers-Braves game, Marco Estrada had a curveball get away from him, hitting Paul Janish squarely in the knee. It was as about as run-of-the-mill as HBPs get, at least until Angel Hernandez called Janish back to box, ruling the pitch a ball.
The video isn’t embeddable yet, but here’s the link. Gonzalez was tossed for arguing afterwards.
Personally, I wish this got called a bit more often. It’s ridiculous when hitters lean into a pitch to take it off the arm or, worse, an elbow pad. Janish clearly moved his knee into the path of the ball here as a means of getting on first base. That it didn’t work is a credit to Hernandez.
Yes, I really just wrote that. I’m going to shower now.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.
Which is kind of weird, really.
Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.
Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.
But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.