Getty Images

Red Sox first round pick cracks joke about Pablo Sandoval’s weight


The Red Sox picked high school first baseman/pitcher Triston Casas with the 26th pick of the first round of the draft last night. Casas, 18, is from American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida, which also produced Eric Hosmer. He looks like a good one too. He’s ranked anywhere from 20th to 33rd in the major amateur prospect rankings. He is said to have a lot of power and a good bit of plate patience for someone so young.

While that kind of player is special, especially in an organization that is a bit short of projectable minor league bats these days, his introduction to most folks is coming via a joke he cracked last night after being selected by the Sox.

The Red Sox introduced Casas as a third baseman, which reflects their view of his future in the organization. Worth a try, of course, as his bat would be way more valuable at the hot corner than at first. To that end, reporters asked Casas what he needs to do in order to stick at third base. Via Mark Feinsand of, Casas’ answer was this:

Obviously watch my weight. There was another third baseman in Boston called Sandoval who had some problems. Just stay agile, take a lot of ground balls and keep doing my thing.

I’m not going to come down too hard on the kid. It was the biggest night of his life, he had a lot of cameras and microphones pointed at him and it’s totally understandable that he’d try to take a stab at humor. To the extent it fell flat — and I think it did, in addition to being something of a less-than-graceful swipe at someone he doesn’t know — it can be chalked up to nerves and, well, to being 18.

I wish Casas nothing but the best and hope he has a long and productive baseball career. It might be worth it for him to remember, however, that there are a lot of first round picks who don’t have one-quarter of the career that Pablo Sandoval has had, even with his setbacks and missteps. Sitting here now, it’s impossible for Casas to know now whether he will be one of them.

I suspect it’s the sort of thing he’ll come to realize over time. We all realize stuff like that as we grow up.

Pirates shut down Chris Archer

Chris Archer
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.

Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.

With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.