Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was part of one of the stranger plays you’ll see this season. With his team trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Kinsler drew a one-out walk and was standing on first base when Miguel Cabrera stepped up to the plate. With a 3-2 count against Angels lefty Hector Santiago, Kinsler broke for second. Catcher Hank Conger’s throw sailed high and went into center field, and that’s when the crazy started.
Kinsler broke for third base and got there easily. Center fielder Mike Trout, meanwhile, nonchalantly tossed the ball back into the infield, but it too sailed a bit wide and bounced towards Santiago in the middle of the diamond. Kinsler scampered home and touched home while Santiago’s throw to his catcher sailed to the backstop.
It’s as funny as it sounds:
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.