We expected it to happen eventually, and it finally did in Game 3 of the World Series. In getting the final two outs of the bottom of the seventh inning, Royals reliever Brandon Finnegan became the first player to play in two World Series in one year: College and Major League.
The Royals took the 21-year-old lefty in the first round of this year’s draft, 17th overall, out of Texas Christian University. TCU advanced to the second round of the College World Series, but lost 3-2 to Virginia, who wound up advancing to the finals.
Finnegan pitched 15 innings with Single-A Wilmington before advancing to Double-A Northwest Arkansas with which he tossed 12 innings. He made his major league debut on September 7, finishing out the month allowing one run over seven innings. In the post-season, the lefty has allowed two runs in five innings on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates released Francisco Cervelli. Yesterday he was signed by the Braves. Atlanta gave him the start behind the plate and he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in to help his new team to victory over the Mets. Welcome to Atlanta, Frankie.
Cervelli had been rehabbing from a concussion and hadn’t seen big league action since late May. He was ready to come back, though, and the Pirates — who are going nowhere — gave him his release so that he might join a contender for the stretch run.
The performance he put up last night, obviously will not be the norm for him going forward. But it’s also the case that his early 2019 batting line of .193/.279/.248 is not indicative of his talent level either. He posted an .809 OPS (122 OPS+) in 2018, and if he gives Atlanta anything even approaching his usual production it’ll help stabilize a shaky catching situation for the Braves.