It’s July 19, but Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has already set the new single-season record for catcher’s interference, per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal. He swung and hit the mitt of Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph in the first inning of Tuesday night’s game and was awarded first base as a result. It’s his ninth time reaching base on catcher’s interference.
Ellsbury has 23 instances of catcher’s interference in his 10-year career.
Ellsbury’s ability to induce catcher’s interference is clearly a skill — Rangers catcher Brett Nicholas certainly thinks so — but it’s not reflected in on-base percentage. In the box score, he’s only credited with a plate appearance, nothing more. If his nine CI events counted towards his OBP, it would rise from .338 to .355. That’s pretty significant. It takes him from 87th in baseball (among qualified batters) to 58th.
Coming into Tuesday’s game against the Orioles, Ellsbury was batting .271/.338/.384 with four home runs, 30 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 352 plate appearances.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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