It’s a pretty common thing for starting pitchers to disapprove when they’re removed somewhat early from games, but these comments from Phillies right-hander David Buchanan feel especially pointed …
“It caught me off-guard honestly,” Buchanan told Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer after being lifted before the sixth inning of Saturday’s loss to the Cardinals. “I didn’t expect that and wasn’t too happy about that. I just do what I am told and go for as long as I can and unfortunately that was only five innings tonight but it definitely caught me off guard.”
Buchanan was only at 90 pitches when manager Ryne Sandberg pulled him, but he had allowed eight hits and two walks. The Phillies wound up having to use seven relievers in the 12-inning loss and will be short on rested arms for Sunday’s series finale with St. Louis.
Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown also voiced his displeasure with a recent lack of playing time after being double-switched with Grady Sizemore in the seventh inning Saturday. Brown has started just 24 games since the beginning of July. “I am not out there every day so it’s kind of tough coming off the bench,” he said.
It’s much easier for a team to get along when it’s playing winning baseball. The Phillies are 57-72.
The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.
The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.
Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.
It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.
He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.