Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks missed most of September with a strained left oblique, but returned on Tuesday as the club activated him from the 10-day disabled list. He made his presence felt immediately, taking a grand slam away from Rays catcher Wilson Ramos in the top of the first inning.
Starter Jordan Montgomery found himself in hot water to start the game, as he gave up back-to-back singles to Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza, Jr., then walked Evan Longoria to load the bases with no outs. After striking out Logan Morrison, Montgomery threw an 85 MPH first-pitch change-up that Ramos crushed to right-center field. Fortunately for Montgomery, Hicks tracked the ball, leaped, and brought the ball back from beyond the fence to save an additional three runs. Kiermaier scored on what was ultimately a sacrifice fly.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.
Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.
While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.