MLB 2023 | Adolis' homer #25 was a Grand Slam, Oviedo was back in win column, Yordan was activated
Major League Baseball (MLB) and other Cuban Players News for the 2023 season. A compendium from several sources
Adolis García blasts grand slam and benches clear. García went 1-for-5 with a grand slam in Wednesday's 13-5 win over the Astros. García put a cap on the Rangers' seven-run fifth inning with his slam, which got him to the 25-homer mark for the season. As Astros' catcher Martin Maldonado was not pleased with something after Adolis' home run, the benches cleared. Adolis didn't seem to do anything out of the ordinary on the roundtripper. However, the 30-year-old did seem to take an extra second to admire the blast, but nothing that seemed to be egregious. No punches were thrown, and Astros slugger Yordan Álvarez did step in to try and play peacemaker before players from both benches and bullpens ran onto the field. Adolis has slumped a bit lately, going 3-for-22 over his last seven contests, though he's also recently dealt with a minor hand injury. For the season, he's slashing .259/.333/.513 with 84 RBI, 75 runs scored, six stolen bases and 22 doubles through 100 games as the Rangers' main cleanup hitter.
Johan Oviedo was back in win column. Oviedo (4-11) picked up the win in Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Padres, allowing one run on three hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out five. The right-hander tossed only 53 of 90 pitches for strikes, but he avoided serious damage and was able to collect his first win since May 19, having gone 0-8 in the 11 outings since. It's interesting to note that Oviedo received three automatic balls for taking too long between pitches in the first inning. Oviedo will carry a 4.60 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 106:49 K:BB through 117.1 innings into his next start, likely to come at home next week against the Tigers.
Yordan Álvarez got aboard three times in return. Álvarez went 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a hit-by-pitch in Wednesday's 13-5 loss to the Rangers. Álvarez did fairly well in his return from a right oblique injury that sidelined him for over six weeks. He batted fifth as the designated hitter, which will likely be his primary position initially, though he could also challenge slumping rookie Corey Julks -- who is 0-for-24 over his last eight games -- for time in left field. Álvarez is slashing .279/.394/.593 with 17 home runs, 55 RBI, 41 runs scored and 13 doubles through 58 contests, so he should provide a power boost from the heart of the Astros' lineup.
Randy Arozarena went hitless in a third straight game against the Marlins on Wednesday, finishing 0-for-4.
Arozarena complained of some soreness last week after a wall collision, but his struggles date back further than that; he is hitting .165 with a 28/6 K/BB ratio in 98 plate appearances since June 25. With Wander Franco also in a miserable slump, the lineup just isn’t getting it done right now, but at the same time, it’s hard to see where the Rays can easily upgrade other than catcher, which is always complicated.
A pair of hits for Yuli Gurriel and a hitless showing for Jorge Soler.
Gurriel was again in the Marlins' lineup as they defeated the Rays 7-1. In the game, Gurriel went 2-for-4 with his 12th double of the season. With just 36 at-bats in July, Gurriel continues to see little action. At 245 PA, the veteran starter is batting .265/.327/.388 with 3 HR and 19 RBI. In the same game, Jorge Soler continued his prolonged slump by going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. Soler hasn't homered since July 14, a period in which he has only two RBI. A disastrous .175/.246/.298 slash line in his last 15 games with 2 homers and 5 RBIs does not bode well for Soler.
Yandy Díaz had encouraging MRI results. Rays manager Kevin Cash said Wednesday that the MRI results on Díaz's left groin were encouraging. Díaz didn't play in Wednesday's loss to the Marlins after exiting Tuesday's game with groin tightness. While it's not clear when he might be ready to return to the lineup, it appears he will be able to avoid the injured list for the time being. Díaz dealt with a left groin issue earlier this season as well but didn't require an IL stint at that time.
Yasmani Grandal benched after eight consecutive starts. Grandal was out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Cubs. Grandal got a breather after he had started each of the last eight games at either designated hitter, first base or catcher. Now that the White Sox have all of their key position players healthy, Grandal's opportunities at DH and first base will likely become more scarce moving forward, though he should continue to play ahead of Seby Zavala at catcher.
Enrique Hernández returning to Dodgers in trade isn't good news for Miguel Vargas. The Dodgers acquired Hernandez in a trade from the Red Sox on Tuesday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported. The Red Sox received pitchers Nick Robertson and Justin Hagenman in return for Hernández, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.com. With the trade Cuban Miguel Vargas will find it very difficult to return to the Majors for the remainder of the 2023 season. This is unless an injury causes the Dodgers to drop a player. This acquisition illustrates the intentions of the front office by bringing in a player that not only has postseason experience, but is also very popular in Los Angeles. Hernández has posted an ugly .222/.279/.320 batting line in 323 plate appearances this season after also struggling at the dish in 2022, but he can play shortstop and second base, and the Dodgers need help at both spots. The 31-year-old seems likely to operate in a super-utility role, even covering some outfield, as he makes his return to Los Angeles. He played six seasons with the Dodgers between 2015 and 2020.
Oscar Colás picked up his fourth steal. Colás went 1-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored in Wednesday's 10-7 loss to the Cubs. Colás has logged two of his four steals this season over his last three games. The outfielder is still struggling for consistency at the plate -- he's batting .220 (11-for-50) over 15 contests since his recall to the majors July 4, failing to carry over his strong hitting from Triple-A Charlotte. Despite the struggles, he's seeing the bulk of the playing time in right field. Colás has a .214/.246/.270 slash line with one home run, nine RBI and 14 runs scored over 40 major-league games.
Aledmys Díaz comes through as pinch hitter. Díaz entered Tuesday's loss to the Giants as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and remained in the game at shortstop, going 1-for-1 with a run scored. Díaz led off the eighth with a pinch-hit knock and ended up scoring the game-tying run on JJ Bleday's single later in the frame. The veteran infielder is carrying an abysmal .211/.263/.287 slash line on the season, but Díaz has enjoyed a reasonably productive July in comparison -- he's posted a .267 average and .636 OPS with two doubles and three RBI across 34 plate appearances during the month.
Andy Ibáñez took a seat in first contest. Ibáñez was absent from the lineup for the first game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Angels even when the games were postponed due to rain. Ibáñez had started seven of the last nine at second base.
Rob Manfred has signed a four-year extension to remain MLB’s commissioner through January 2029, The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reports.
Terms were not released, and Manfred’s salaries have never been public, though ESPN reported last year that the commissioner was making $17.5 million per year, plus bonuses that brought his compensation up to about $25 million. Manfred is in his ninth year as MLB’s commissioner, having replaced Bud Selig in 2015.