A couple of weeks ago the Minnesota Twins turned a triple play against the Yankees. A few minutes ago they turned one against the Braves.
They needed it badly, too. For the second straight game the Braves have jumped all over the Twins early, scoring three runs in the first inning of this afternoon’s contest and then adding three more in the second. It was 4-0 when Atlanta loaded the bases. They added a fifth run when Charlie Culberson hit an infield single and added a sixth when Johan Camargo drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Josh Donaldson, all with nobody out. Last night they took an 11-0 lead before the Twins scored. They seemed to be on the verge of doing it agin.
But nope: the next guy up was Tyler Flowers who hit the second pitch he saw hard to third base. Miguel Sanó fielded it, stepped on third, fired it down to Jonathan Schoop at second who fired it to C.J. Cron at first. 5-4-3, bang-bang-bang.
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.