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Video: Gary Sanchez refuses an intentional walk

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Gary Sanchez isn’t here for your intentional walks. Gary Sanchez is here to rake.

At least, that’s the impression the hotshot catcher gave the Rays on Saturday afternoon, when he took the first pitch of Enny Romero’s attempted intentional walk and drove it to deep left-center field during the eighth inning.

[mlbvideo id=”1155475783″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

It’s not the first time a hitter has tried to capitalize on an intentional walk, either. There have been poorly placed intentional walks, like the walk that was converted into a walk-off home run for the Ole Miss Rebels in 2014. There have been surprise RBI intentional walks, similar to Sanchez’s play, like Miguel Cabrera’s go-ahead RBI single on the first pitch of an intentional walk from the Orioles’ Todd Williams back in 2006. There have also been explosive intentional walks, like the 1980 Phillies-Dodgers brawl that was ignited after Los Angeles catcher Joe Ferguson swung through Tug McGraw’s attempted intentional walk for a two-RBI single in the ninth inning.

If you’re wondering what Statcast does with an intentional-walk-turned-sac-fly, this is what happens:

Sanchez hit the old-fashioned way, too, going back-to-back with Jacoby Ellsbury in the first inning on a long home run to center field. When he hasn’t been exploiting slow outside pitches for RBIs, the rookie catcher has maintained an average exit velocity of 92.8 m.p.h. over his last five games, 3.7 miles faster than the league average.

Next time, don’t be surprised if he hits it over the fence.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”