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.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.