Last Friday night Yu Darvish technically had his no-hitter broken up by a clean David Ortiz single in the ninth. In reality, if the official scorer of that game had done what every other official scorer does, it would’ve been broken up in the seventh when Ortiz lofted one between the second baseman and the right fielder, and having it drop in. That’s almost always ruled a hit, but the scorer called it an error.
That call has now been changed by Major League Baseball.
Definite mixed feelings on this. In an ideal world, mental errors that lead to balls dropping without being touched should be errors. They are miscues and mistakes and why more fielder’s aren’t credited with errors for making them is beyond me. On the other hand, if you’re going to make this corrective, you do it via an official action or instruction from Major League Baseball to its scorers, you don’t change the convention on the fly, in a situation that, by sheer coincidence, I’m sure, aided the home player pursuing history.
But we can all agree on this: no way this gets changed if Darvish completed the no-hitter by retiring Ortiz in the ninth. I can’t feature MLB erasing a no-no that got celebrated on the field and which likely would have led to memorabilia sales and all of that.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.