I had missed this until now, but there was a record set last night! Jacoby Ellsbury broke Pete Rose’s all-time record for reaching base via catcher’s interference.
He broke the mark with this 30th catcher’s interference in the fourth inning of last night’s Yankees-Rays game after his bat came in contact with Wilson Ramos‘ mitt. This comes a year after he set a single-season record in 2016, with 12 catcher’s interferences. He shattered that old record in fact, which had stood at eight. He shattered Rose’s record too, when you think about it. It took Ellsbury 5,308 plate appearances to do it 30 times. It took Rose 15,890 plate appearances to do it 29 times.
All of which strongly suggests that Ellsbury does this on purpose, drawing catcher’s inteferences the way some basketball players have a knack for drawing fouls. Opposing players certainly think so. Check this out from last year, when he set the single season record:
Ellsbury is not the player he once was, but he still as a special skill, and I guess that’s not nothing.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.