I somehow missed this yesterday but, my God, is it a heck of a thing.
The game in question involved a couple of teams in a Canadian semi-pro league. The batter in question is named Starlin Rodriguez who, once upon a time, played in the Rays and Cardinals organizations before joining the ranks of independent baseball several years ago. The play in question involved what was a no-doubt home run.
The act in question: watching the whole flight path of the ball before leaving the batter’s box and then launching his bat so high in the air that it made every other bat flip look like a self-conscious apology. The slow trot was something else too.
Behold, as filmed by Ken Hashizume from Sunshine 89 in Orillia, Ontario:
The dinger did knock in the go-ahead runs in a clinching game of a championship series so, hey, excitement is excitement. But even a bat-flip loving guy like me understands the catcher’s anger in that case.
Top that, Jose Bautista.
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.