Yangervis Solarte is 7-for-21 in his first five games as a Padre.
On Sunday, to wrap a 5-for-13 weekend series against Chicago, he rapped his seventh home run of 2014 (and his MLB career, since this is his first time above AAA ball). When the Yankees wanted Chase Headley for their proposed playoff run, they had to surrender Solarte and pitching prospect Rafael DePaula. The Padres, in addition to Headley, paid the Yankees one million dollars, cash on the barrelhead. So you could say Yangervis is a million-dollar player.
Yangervis recently got his second chance with the Yankees due to a “batting practice mishap,” wherein Carlos Beltran got whacked in the face with a batted ball. Since Solarte got whacked in the face with the trade news, he’s moved between second and third defensively for the Padres. Countryman Alexi Amarista seems to have awakened a bit with Solarte’s arrival, switching between short and third, and showing slightly more spark at the plate.
and beyond San Diego…..
You know what’s nice to see? After several years of bad luck, Nationals’ catcher Wilson Ramos has his batting average up to .305. Kidnappings, multiple injuries—feh. Wilson is back, dudes.
While we’re on the “give the catcher some” thread, how about Dioner Navarro of the second-place Blue Jays? In a crucial luck-turning Saturday matinee at Yankee Stadium, the big man went 3-for-5 in a close-fought Jays’ victory. Dioner began his MLB career all the way back in 2004 with the Yankees and has bounced around somewhat, to the Dodgers, Rays and Cubs before landing across the border. At 5’9” and 205 lbs, he has a true catcher’s build; you couldn’t imagine him playing anywhere else.
In an all-Venezuela catcher affair, Francisco Cervelli donned the tools of ignorance for the Bombers; in limited time this season due to injury (and the Yankees overpaying a free agent catcher), Cervelli’s batting .317 and seems to have the confidence of the rapidly-changing NYY pitching staff.
The victory broke a 17-game losing streak for Toronto in the Bronx, in a game that truly mattered. Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Rays bickered like small children over the spoils of the A.L. East basement.
Francisco Rodriguez redeemed himself for a blown save on Friday with a powerhouse close-out of the Mets on Saturday. K-Rod has saved 30 of the Brewers’ 59 wins, as Milwaukee is looking like a fair bet for the postseason. Of course, it’s still July, folks.
In Colorado, Carlos Gonzalez made an outstanding diving catch near the left-field line on Sunday, flashing a bit of that Gold Glove form. He had missed quite a bit of time with an finger injury that turned out to be a bit scary; a benign tumor was removed from the digit in question. Sunday’s highlight-reel play came after Cargo had dinged his ankle on Saturday, making it all the more impressive.
Call me old-school, but every Sunday morning I like to look at a printed newspaper and take stock of the baseball universe. A look at the leader boards this week would have made any Venezuelan baseball fan proud: Jose Altuve leads the American League in batting, Miguel Cabrera in RBI and doubles. Altuve is second in doubles and also leads in stolen bases; Alcides Escobar and Elvis Andrus are fourth and fifth, respectively, in swipes.
In yet another loss for the Astros on Sunday, Altuve went 3-for-4 (he’s now at .344) with a home run and his 42nd stolen base. Will anyone join me in the groundswell of support for an MVP from a last-place team?