The Phillies have levied some complaints about the division rival Nationals, but they don’t have to do with anything done during a game. Rather, they feel that they are afforded less time for on-field batting practice at Nationals Park compared to other road parks, and they’re unhappy with the music selection as well, which has included Linda Rondstadt, Patrick Swayze, and Starland Vocal Band.
Here’s what manager Ryne Sandberg had to say, via MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki:
“We’ll take care of that,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said before Saturday’s game against the Nationals at Nationals Park. “We’re going with the silent treatment at our place.
“It’s bush league. And irrelevant. What’s the point?”
Jayson Werth thinks the soft music is a net positive.
“I didn’t even notice it,” Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said with a hint of a smile. “But it’s nice soothing music they’ve got going on here. It’s nice for the fans at the ballpark before the game. Yeah, maybe get a beer, a pretzel, enjoy BP.”
A more extensive list of songs that were played, taken from the Phillies’ broadcast on Comcast SportsNet:
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.