Wilson Ramos drew a five-ball walk on Friday, somehow

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Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was shorted a ball by home plate umpire Scott Barry in his plate appearance leading off bottom of the sixth inning against the Rangers last night, but still ended up working a walk against starter Colby Lewis.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the details:

Ramos took a ball on a 2-2 pitch. Home plate umpire Scott Barry, according to Ramos, declared the count 3-2. Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez turned and asked, “Isn’t it 2-2?”

“Yeah, Barry replied. “2-2.”

“It’s not 3-2?” Ramos asked Barry.

“No, it’s 2-2,” Barry said.

Ramos shrugged and went back to the at-bat.

“I said in my mind, ‘That’s three balls,’ ” Ramos said. “That’s okay. Five balls. I’ll take it.”

The more astute among us may remember Barry as the umpire who picked a right with and then ejected Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard in the 14th inning of a game against the Astros. Barry’s decision to eject Howard forced the Phillies to, memorably, send pitcher Roy Oswalt out to left field.

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Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.