Carl Crawford was the primary left fielder for the Dodgers prior to suffering a torn oblique in late April. Andre Ethier has returned to form during his absence, hitting .275 with nine home runs and an .840 OPS over 65 games coming into Monday’s action. It’s been enough for him to have the advantage in playing time upon Crawford’s return:
Crawford was batting .245/.260/.408 in 50 plate appearances prior to the injury. Mattingly told Plunkett tonight that the 33-year-old is probably 10 days away from playing in games. He’s expected to require a lengthy minor league rehab assignment after missing two months, so a return will likely happen after the All-Star break.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.