Wednesday night’s win over the Twins was a costly one for the Angels, who lost third baseman David Freese to a fractured right index finger after he was hit on the hand by a Mike Pelfrey pitch.
Freese said after the game that he hopes to return in as little as three weeks, but Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that he’ll spend the next two weeks with his finger in a splint. Kyle Kubitza, who got a brief call-up to the Angels earlier this season, is expected to sub for Freese at third base.
Freese has hit .240 with 11 homers and a .706 OPS in 90 games to basically match his production from last season, but he’s yet to reach the higher offensive levels he called home with the Cardinals from 2009-2013.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).