Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena has defected from Cuba with the intention of signing with an MLB team.
Badler calls Arruebarruena a “defensive wizard” and because he’s 23 years old with plenty of experience in Cuba his contract won’t count against teams’ international signing limits. In other words, it’ll be a free-for-all.
Scouts told Badler that Arruebarruena might have trouble hitting higher than .220 in the big leagues, but it sounds like he could be viewed by many teams as a starting-caliber shortstop based on defense alone.
Another Cuban shortstop, Alexander Guerrero, recently signed a four-year, $28 million deal with the Dodgers, but he’s likely to play second base in the majors and is viewed as a potential impact hitter.
The Padres’ Austin Hedges hit a fun home run in last night’s game against the Mariners.
He was facing M’s reliever Cory Gearrin with two outs in the sixth and drove one to deep right center. Padres outfielder Mallex Smith ranged back, leapt — though he didn’t have to — the ball doinked off his glove, and went over the fence for an alley-oop homer.
The best part was Hedges chuckling and, I think anyway, kinda tipping his cap to Smith. For his part, Smith sat on the ground and looked rather disgusted about it all. Which, you can’t really blame him:
It was the second time in three days such a homer was hit. On Sunday Dexter Fowler did the same courtesy to Noah Syndergaard.
Now, can someone tell me why these aren’t four-base errors? There’s probably a reason but, really, there’s no way these were dingers without the unintended help of the outfielder.