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Twins unhappy Orioles’ Chance Sisco bunted for a hit

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Twins starter Jose Berrios was working on a one-hit shutout in the ninth inning against the Orioles on Sunday afternoon. After getting Pedro Alvarez to pop out, Chance Sisco came to the plate and dropped down a bunt to the left side for a single. Berrios would then walk Chris Davis and Manny Machado to load the bases, but finished his shutout by getting Jonathan Schoop to pop out and Adam Jones to strike out.

The Twins won 7-0. Berrios got his shutout. They should be happy, right? The Twins were actually pretty upset with Sisco’s choice to lay down a bunt. Second baseman Brian Dozier said, via Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Obviously, we’re not a fan of it. He’s a young kid. I could’ve said something at second base but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there. I’m sure they’ll address that. It’s all about learning. You learn up here.”

Berrios said, “I don’t care if he’s bunting. I just know it’s not good for baseball in that situation. That’s it.”

Outfielder Eddie Rosario said, “Nobody liked that. No, no, no. That’s not a good play.”

In baseball’s rather large book of unwritten rules, there has traditionally been a section that says hitters shouldn’t attempt to bunt for a hit to break up a pitcher’s no-hitter. I’ve never heard an unwritten rule prescribing that same behavior when a pitcher is working on a one-hitter.

As Matthew Pouliot points out, the Twins were shifting Sisco pretty hard to the right side when he came to the plate in the ninth inning.

The game wasn’t over yet. Sure, overcoming a seven-run deficit with one out in the ninth is a tall order, but players aren’t taught to just roll over once the deficit reaches a certain threshold. They play until the last out is officially recorded. Furthermore, if the Twins expected Sisco to play standard, why weren’t they playing standard defense? If it’s okay to defensively shift up by seven, then it’s okay to bunt down by seven — even if there’s a one-hitter in progress.

This is just tremendously petty on the Twins’ part. The two clubs don’t meet up again until July 5 in Minnesota, so we’ll see if the Twins carry a grudge for three months.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
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Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.

According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.

Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.