Last Wednesday I watched Francisco Mejia hit a walkoff single to give the Columbus Clippers a win over the Norfolk Tides. That was fun. As of last night, folks in Cleveland can see him now too, because the Indians called him up before their game against the White Sox.
Mejia didn’t play — maybe he got sidetracked at Grandpa’s Cheese Barn on the way up I-71, which happens to us all — but he’s likely to see action soon. The Tribe’s top prospect is taking the roster place of injured catcher Roberto Perez and they didn’t call him up just to ride pine.
Not that it’s certain he’ll catch. There are some questions about his defense behind the plate and the Indians have had him playing a good bit of outfield down here in Columbus. He’s only 22, so you don’t want to say the guy has a future as a DH, but he may have a future as a DH. Too soon to say.
Mejia has struggled a bit at the plate in the early going at Triple-A, but last year he raked at Double-A, earned himself a cup of coffee with the big club and hit well again in the Arizona Fall League. With the Indians starting to pull away in the AL Central, as most folks figured they would, it’s a pretty decent time to see if he responds to major league pitching.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.