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.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.