Don Baylor suffers fractured femur catching Vladimir Guerrero’s first pitch

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An unfortunate incident kicked off the Angels’ season on Monday. Hitting coach Don Baylor suffered a fractured right femur while catching the first pitch from Vladimir Guerrero, who signed a one-day contract to officially end his career with the Angels, and had to be helped off the field.

He’s slated to undergo surgery Tuesday.

Guerrero seemed to initially think Baylor was kidding around after catching the pitch and laughing as he ran towards the plate, only to realize once he got there that Baylor was in some serious pain. Guerrero helped him to his feet, but it didn’t take and he needed extra assistance.

Baylor was working his first game as the Angels’ hitting coach, having been hired last October. He had previously served as the hitting coach in Seattle, Colorado and Arizona following managerial stints with the Rockies and Cubs. In 2003, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks plasma cells in bone marrow.

Baylor, 64, played 19 season in the majors in a career that ended in 1988. He won the 1979 AL MVP award as a member of the Angels after hitting .296/.371/.530 with 36 homers and a league-leading 139 RBI.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.