It was on this day in 1939 that the Yankees hosted a “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day” ceremony between games of a doubleheader with the Washington Senators. Gehrig had officially retired two weeks earlier, just after his ALS diagnosis had been made public. Gehrig received many emotional tributes from city officials, teammates and former manager Joe McCarthy, plus he became the first player in Major League history to have a uniform number retired. The most iconic moment, of course, was Gehrig’s own speech, in which he described himself as “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
Here’s the latest from around the AL East…
- The Red Sox demoted Christian Vazquez to Triple-A and activated Ryan Hanigan off the 15-day DL today. Despite good defensive numbers, Vazquez looked overmatched at the plate, hitting just .226/.278/.305 over 176 PA. While the demotion wasn’t unexpected, the surprising element to the move is that unheralded veteran Sandy Leon has forced his way into regular starts. Leon collected four more hits today and is now batting .500/.556/.775 over 45 plate appearances for Boston this season. Since regression is inevitable for Leon, the Sox could look for catching help at the deadline.
- Manager John Farrell described the Red Sox to reporters (including WEEI.com’s Ryan Hannable) as “a good team despite obvious areas of need.” Farrell cited pitching and perhaps a right-handed hitting infielder as those areas of need. Brock Holt and Marco Hernandez (both left-handed bats) are Boston’s primary backup infielders, and struggling third baseman Travis Shaw also swings from the left side.
- The Orioles are hopeful that Darren O’Day can return after the All-Star break, manager Buck Showalter told reporters (including Rich Dubroff of CSNMidAtlantic.com) today. The reliever was enjoying another solid season out of the Orioles bullpen before suffering a hamstring strain that has kept hm out of action for over a month. O’Day is making good progress, Showalter said, and a simulated game and rehab assignment could begin next week.
- The Orioles and Blue Jays have both had talent evaluators watching the Twins recently, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets.
- The Blue Jays often talk about Aaron Sanchez’s role, and manager John Gibbons told reporters (including Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith) that he still thinks Sanchez will be shifted to the bullpen at some point this season. Toronto has held to this plan since Spring Training in order to keep Sanchez’s innings in check, though the young righty has emerged as the ace of the Jays rotation. After eight innings of one-run ball against the Royals tonight, Sanchez now has a 2.94 ERA, 56.7% grounder rate and 7.86 K/9 through 113 1/3 frames this season. Sanchez’s previous career high is 133 1/3 (in both minor league and MLB innings) in 2014.
- Marco Estrada received at least four cortisone shots in his bad back today, and the Blue Jays are hopeful he can make his scheduled start on Thursday, Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling writes. This the second time Estrada has been hampered by back problems this season, as an early-season DL stint cost him his first start of the year though similar cortisone treatments helped correct those issues. It’s also possible the Jays could start Drew Hutchison on Thursday and give Estrada an extended rest through the All-Star break.
Sure the red Sox will go for catching help. Because with all the problems on the team, that’s a glaring area of weakness. They’re just playing the hot hand. Leon is on a tear and is out of options. Vazquez still has options. It’s only a matter of time before Leon or Hanigan goes back to the DL. When that happens Vazquez comes up again. They don’t look for another catcher. Adding offense to this lineup is hardly a necessity. It’s not like you need a 9 hitter that’s hitting .500. you just ride it for as long as it lasts.
Agree. If they go and get a catcher? it’s simple pandering to the wretched NE media, who are impossible to satisfy and clueless fans that know nothing, except watch a cpl dozen games each year and then read everything the shaughnessy types write.
If the team had kept both Leon and Vazquez and DFA’d Hannigan? the offense would have been exact same from catching and defense/throwing far better. FO didn’t want to pay remaining million on his contract and it hurts the team and they still have retread Danny Butler at pawtucket, who is as good as Hannigan at this stage of his career. Awful move by the FO’s part.
Gotta agree. Of the list of issues the Red Sox are facing, offense from the catcher is fairly low on the list. NE Media is making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Your ignorance is amusing.
Solarte and Pomeranz to Boston for prospects?
That’s not a bad idea. I’d like to see that.
Who could any team, in need for pitching, want from the Twins?
Calm down, it’s not like Ervin Santana is terrible for a 4/5 starter with salary relief from the Twins
To name a few:
why is aaron Sanchez pitching 8 innings when he has an innings limit? Do they want to shut him down before August?
Because the Jays have a opportunity to win. And they want win!!!
And they’ll tank in September or October…if they even get that far
Any chance Lucroy and Braun make sense in Boston?
Lucroy makes sense, somewhat. Braun on the other hand doesn’t really.
I could see them maybe going after Lucroy but not Braun
Braun maybe but they won’t want to pay him and Lucroy wouldn’t really be much of a fit with Vasquez and maybe Swihart (if he returns behind the dish which I think he will come next season)
While people keep pitching Braun to Boston and justifying it as a long term plan to replace the offense lost by Ortiz in the future, Braun will tie up a lot of resources. Resources that should to fixing the more glaring problem of the short and long term issues of starting pitching. I simply don’t see any sense in a major trade for Boston that brings them back at least a stable starter.
Especially so if Benentendi can fix the OF hole by mid next season, if not sooner. Just taking the remaining 4/80m of 32yo Braun’s contract would be nearly a gift for the Brewer’s and we all know that wouldn’t happen.. They expect some top prospect, making it definitely not worth it.
I wonder how it would go if they tried to use Marco Hernandez in the outfield kind of like with Holt it couldn’t hurt to have two utility guys
Bet the Red Sox wish they traded Blake Swihart for Cole Hamels…
Come now, do you really think that’s all the Phillies asked for?
They don’t need catching help. Leon is trade bait – this is to get him at-bats now up to the deadline, then bring Vasquez back up August 1st. At least, that’s what they should be doing. They don’t need offense either – they have that in droves, but they do need to give their starting lineup solid dependable backups. The only starting lineup guy they really need is an everyday left fielder (who might be a half-season rental until Benintendi arrives) so Holt can go back to being the super utility guy to give the infielders rest days; they obviously need solid starters; and they need more bullpen help. I think they can get the last piece for Leon, and I think they should be pursuing Coco Crisp as he’s played for them before and knows the nuances of left field at Fenway.
The Blue Jays would be smart to skip Estrada’s start. Give him the extra time to rest his back and have him stronger for the stretch run. As for Travis Shaw, I wouldn’t say his struggling completely. His struggles are confided to hitting on the road. He’s hitting .318 at Fenway, but only .221 on the road.
Guess they should bench him on the road, eh? Maybe the “BOOK” is out on him? It’s been known to happen
Kyle Schwarber is an “all-around player?” He’s a DH trapped in the National League!
When was Schwarber even mentioned?
Man, my team might be horrible for five years straight, but I’m sure glad that I’m not a fan of a first place team with unlimited resources. That has to be hard.
Why does the 24 year old Sanchez have an innings cap, but the 25 year old Stroman doesn’t? I bet Sanchez, with his frame has less wear and tear from throwing than the tiny Stroman.