Rookie third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes will soon compete in alternate site games, and he should thereafter return to the Pirates’ roster, per Kevin Gorman of Triblive.com. Hayes jammed his wrist in the second game of the season. The Pirates have surprisingly held their heads above water in his absence; A win in extras yesterday put their record to 7-9 on the young season. Hayes apparently left some rookie magic behind at the hot corner, as 28-year-old Phillip Evans has slashed .275/.373/.490 in 59 plate appearances as Hayes’ stand-in. Evans has already made 2021 the most prolific campaign of his career, a strong argument to keep a roster spot even after Hayes returns.
Let’s hang out in the NL Central this morning…
- Reds outfielder Shogo Akiyama is working on running drills, per C. Trent Rosecrans of the Athletic (via Twitter). Manager David Bell wants to see Akiyama in game action at the team’s alternate site this weekend. Even with Aristides Aquino on the injured list, the Reds have no shortage of outfielders thanks to the surprising play of Tyler Naquin. Still, if Akiyami can return as he finished last season, he’s undoubtedly an asset. Akiyama posted a 135 wRC+ in September and October of last season while slashing .317/.456/.365 and providing capable defense at all three spots in the outfield.
- Whether or not the Cubs are headed towards a rebuild, it’s a good time to work on extending catcher Willson Contreras, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports. Contreras continues to be one of the more dynamic catchers in the game, both in terms of his personality and his play on the field. The Cubs long-time backstop is off to a hot start at the plate, slashing .273/.400/.614 with five home runs through 55 plate appearances. Contreras will be a free agent after 2022, heading into his age-30 season. Appealing as it may be to keep Contreras in Chicago, extensions for positions players have not been part of the Cubs’ current operating procedure.
- Jordan Hicks is on the Cardinals roster and pitching valuable innings, but he’s also still completing his ramp-up process as he returns from a 22-month layoff, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hicks has tossed seven innings over six appearances, giving up just one earned run on two hits while walking six and striking out seven. More importantly, his stuff has looked as electric as ever, averaging 99.2 mph on his sinking fastball.
Evans was raking before his injury last year too. wonder what he unlocked in himself.
I don’t know who the minor league hitting coach was in Iowa in 2019, but it seemed he got back to being the prospect he was with Mets when he was a AA Binghamton. Good for him. Good for the Pirates to take a flyer on him, too. He is only 28, and glad he got it straightened out.
Willson Contreras will be a free agent after the 2022 season,not this season
TC Zencka wrote: “Contreras will be a free agent after 2021”
This is not correct.
The Cubs are far more likely to trade Contreras than extend him. I think managers like him more than the front office does. His framing ability or lack thereof has consistently been an issue. For a team that needs all the help they can get on the pitching end, having a catcher that lacks botches some close pitches can hurt.
Except framing “skills” is incredibly unpredictable over the long-term. Additionally, it will be incredibly useless when they go to a computerized strike zone. Not highly valuing contreras because “he can’t really frame” is one of the dumbest things people can argue.
Wilson Contreras- “The opposing pitchers are throwing at me and my teammates all the time”
Reporter- “Do you know that the Cubs pitching staff leads all of MLB in hit batters?”
Wilson Contreras- “Huh?”
This is correct.. The Cubs pitching staff lead MLB in HBP with 13… But Cubs batters have been hit 14 times.
You’re not doing a good job of trolling.
You need to update yourself… Contreras made strides in the framing department last season and was a finalist for the GG.
He’s being Contreras,so to speak
They better get 4+ players for him if they trade him. And at least 2 of them would need to be top 20 prospects. You can’t trade the best catcher in baseball (or at the least top 3) for peanuts. Trading him would be a huge mistake.
Any team thinking about signing Contreras might want to take out an insurance policy against injury due to HBP. Dude continues to get plunked at an astonishing rate this year (not only by the Brewers, you trolls), after getting hit an incredible league leading 14 times in only 57 games last year. You’d think the guy would learn and quit hanging over the plate, but he seems to think it’s everyone else’s fault. 14 times if 57 games says an awful lot. So does 5 times in 14 games.
Hopefully Hayes gets back soon. He’s just fun to watch. And the attitude is attractive.
Evans? Career vagabond, might look around to see who needs him.
Evans already had a roster spot as back up CIF and RF before Hayes went down. He played well until injured last year and has looked the part so far this season.
Zero chance the Bucs are even considering sending him back down.
Dilfo was the replacement for Hayes, but I think BC might try sneak Alford through waivers as he’s been overmatched at the plate.
Evans not going anywhere. Probably move to left with Reynolds to center.
Teams like the Astros and Cubs, and mainly their fans, need to realize that there is a price for going “all in”. It sounds cool when you are doing it. If you get a championship out of it I would say you did a good job. But there is a price to pay. It was never sustainable. All that excitement and momentum you build up by having a super team goes away and you are left with a meh team and no long term direction.
Contreras looks like a head case to me.
except there has not been one issue with Contreras being a headcase.
The Reds should really trade from their outfield depth to boost their bullpen. Yes, injuries happen, but no NL team needs 4 starting quality outfielders (Winker, Senzel, Shogo, Castellanos) just in case. And that is not even counting Aquino and Naquin as depth options.
Boston could definitely use a starting quality OF. Maybe Tanner Houck could be part of a return.
Or they could even work on a deal for Trevor Story revolving around Nick Senzel or Jesse Winker and prospects.
No way the Reds are giving up 3 years of Winker or 5 years of Senzel just to shoehorn Story into their infield only for this year. Trevor Story to the Reds only makes sense if it involves Suarez or Moose to open up a spot for him — and they’d want more than 1 year of Story for Eugenio Suarez.
What is the point of keeping all those years when you don’t have a place to put them? having these guys for years only extends the logjam and eventually kills all their value altogether. Not to mention the value of Naquin and Aquino.
Castellanos has an opt-out after this season. Akiyama and Naquin are only controlled through next season. Aquino’s expandable but they’re certainly not going to trade others just to rely more on Aquino. Apart from Aquino it’s not really a logjam.
Enjoy Jordan Hicks while you can. He seems like one of those guys that will never be healthy for an extended period of time.
Ham 77, why do you say that? This was the first time he has been hurt and Hicks and Reyes have changed their pitching elbow angles so as not to put so much stress on their shoulder. Maybe you are thinking of Reyes?
Willson Contreras is a top 5 catcher. Probably the best defensive catcher in the league. That is the reason the cubs need to extend him before 2023.