A woman was struck by an Eloy Jiménez foul ball during Monday’s game in Chicago between the Nationals and White Sox. According to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, the woman was able to leave the stadium under her own power and was taken to a hospital for observation.
This incident occurs just two weeks after a child was injured by a foul ball in Houston during a game between the Cubs and Astros. Outfielder Albert Almora, who hit the foul ball, was visibly upset. He and teammate Kris Bryant called for more protective netting around the ballpark.
Last week, commissioner Rob Manfred said he doesn’t expect teams to extend netting during the season, the Associated Press reported. He said, “It’s very difficult given how far the clubs have gone with the netting to make changes during the year, because they really are structural issues. But, because safety is so important, I’m sure that conversation will begin and continue into the offseason.”
In the meantime, the league will continue to promote exit velocity and utilize all kinds of distractions at the stadium as players hit baseballs harder than they ever have before, and fans are left defenseless. All stadiums in Japan have protective netting all the way down the foul lines and fans don’t even notice it. The most expensive seats at all MLB parks are already behind netting. The players want more netting. Seems like a pretty simple fix, really.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.