In the fourth inning of Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, Matt Moore took a comebacker to the face off of the bat of Xander Bogaerts. Moore appeared to at least partially deflect the ball and had the presence of mind to chase after the ball and throw out Bogaerts at first base to end the inning.
Video of the incident:
Moore left the game under his own power with a team trainer. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times said there didn’t appear to be any urgency. After the game, Topkin reported that Moore got a couple stitches for a laceration on his lip, and that the lefty wasn’t showing any symptoms of a concussion.
Moore says he should be ready to start the regular season. Maddon is as optimistic, but will defer to the team’s medical staff.
The incident had more gravity as a result of the gruesome injury suffered by Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman last week.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.