Storylines: Stanton suffers scary injury to face
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Thursday, Sept. 11.
- Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was hit in the face by a pitch from Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers in the top of the fifth inning last night. The National League home run leader was on the ground for several minutes before being put on a stretcher and carted off the field. According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins announced that Stanton suffered a laceration on the left side of his face and was sent to a local hospital for a CT scan and X-rays.
- Jason Kipnis told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he pressed too hard early in the season as he tried to live up to the expectations set by his contract extension with the Indians. However, he does feel that this is something he can learn from: "I can change," said Kipnis. "I can come to the realization that I have that in my back pocket and just go out and enjoy myself and play the game."
- With one home run in each of Cleveland's wins over Minnesota, Carlos Santana equaled the franchise's single-season record for home runs by a switch-hitter with 27 on the year. The first baseman previously broke that record during his breakout 2011 campaign.
News and Notes:
- Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said yesterday in an appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan (via WEEI.com's Jerry Spar) that his club is prepared to spend a significant amount of money on the upcoming free agent market. "[W]e are determined to get back to being in first next year," said Werner. Citing the "extreme flexibility" that the club was able to achieve in the famous 2012 August blockbuster with the Dodgers, Werner said that the organization is prepared to open the pocketbook this winter. "I wouldn't say that we have limitless money, but we've got a lot of money to spend and we're determined to go into the free agent market and improve the team." After entering this year with about $156 million in MLB payroll, about $20 million off of the team's 2012 high water mark, Boston has just under $106 million committed for 2015 and does not have any high-dollar arbitration cases to account for.
- The Rays expect their payroll to drop below this season's franchise record of over $80 million, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported. Overall spending is "clearly going to be lower," said owner Stuart Sternberg. That is hardly surprising, especially given that the team will not be paying David Price a big arbitration raise and has Heath Bell coming off the books. On the other hand, it would seem to indicate that Tampa does not expect to add significant salary via free agency or trade, as the team will be paying raises to players like James Loney and Grant Balfour (whose free agent deals were backloaded) as well as arbitration-eligibles such as Matt Joyce, Jeremy Hellickson, Jake McGee, Desmond Jennings, and the recently-acquired Drew Smyly.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon opined that the Reds should shut down Joey Votto for the season rather than rush him back for the final week or so of a non-contending season. Even if Votto appeared to be 100 percent, he would still risk re-injury, while the focus should be on making sure he's fully healthy for 2015, when the team will desperately need him.
- Slugging Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas has been unblocked by the United States Foreign Office of Assets Control and is currently waiting to be declared a free agent by Major League clubs, and MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reported that Tomas will soon showcase for MLB clubs. His showcase is "tentatively scheduled" for the end of next week, according to Sanchez.
- Cuban right-hander Jorge Despaigne has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. He is yet to be cleared by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to sign, it appears.
- Following the trade of Gordon Beckham to the Angels, second base has become a position of flux for the White Sox, MLB.com's Scott Merkin wrote. Top prospect Micah Johnson has been shut down for the year due to an injury, but he'll be firmly in the mix with Carlos Sanchez and Marcus Semien, both of whom are getting looks over the season's final month. Manager Robin Ventura offered high praise for what he's seen of Sanchez thus far, calling him a smart player and saying that it's easy to see why the organization was so high on him.
- Royals pitchers Blake Wood and Chris Dwyer cleared outright waivers and accepted their assignments to Triple-A, the club announced.