Brian McCann is gone, but the Braves Decorum Police are still on the beat.
In yesterday’s game David Carpenter threw a pitch at Rockies hitter Corey Dickerson. I invite Braves fans to try to argue it wasn’t intentional, but it so clearly was that you’re embarrassing yourself if you claim otherwise. Watch it here.
The reason for the plunking: Dickerson hit catcher Gerald Laird with a foul tip and then caught him with a backswing on a foul ball just before, knocking him out of the game. That really does suck — a guy can get seriously hurt like that and Laird was down in the dirt for a long time — but there was no motive for Dickerson to do that to Laird on purpose whatsoever. And it’s not like Dickerson has magical powers and could direct the foul tip at Laird. And Laird himself said after the game that he knew the whole sequence was unintentional.
But don’t tell that to Carpenter. He got ejected and Rockies manager Walt Weiss got ejected for a particularly over-the-top argument, after which he smashed a bat into the dugout wall. Then Rockies and Braves pitchers started throwing at each other, leading to more ejections.
But hey, at least Carpenter taught Dickerson a lesson. About what, I have no idea, but he sure taught him.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.