The Astros recalled Gattis from Double-A Corpus Christi, where he spent a week getting some reps behind the plate. Now that he is up, Gattis will serve as the backup to starting catcher Jason Castro, so it’s just a matter of time before he gains catcher eligibility. With the Astros also optioning Preston Tucker to Triple-A Fresno, room has been cleared for him to serve as the team’s primary designated hitter when he’s not catching.
Gattis started the regular season a week late due to recovery from sports hernia surgery, and he produced precious little before his brief demotion. Striking out more and hitting with little power, Gattis has mustered just a .203 batting average with one home run in 70 plate appearances. We could give Gattis a pass for a slow start, given that he had offseason surgery, but it’s worth noting that he didn’t hit with the same home run clout last season that he did in his two seasons with the Braves. As the table below shows, Gattis was lifting flies for shorter distances, pulling them with less frequency and lacing fewer hard-hit balls.
Everything that led to the controversial Rangers-Blue Jays brawl
Sunday afternoon in Arlington, things finally boiled over between the Rangers andBlue Jays. The two sides were involved in a pair of benches clearing brawls, the first of which involved actual punches being thrown.
These two teams, as I’m sure you remember, met in the ALDS last year and it was a very bitter series. Benches cleared and a war of words continued through the offseason. Here are the details of Sunday’s brawl and everything that led up to it.
1. The bat flip heard ’round the world
Game 5 of the ALDS last year was totally epic. Especially the seventh inning, which was highlighted by Jose Bautista’s monster three-run home run and legendary bat flip. Here’s the highlight, which I’m sure you’ve seen many times before:
Benches cleared twice that inning, remember. Once immediately after Bautista’s home run because Sam Dyson thought Edwin Encarnacion was showing him up when he was really trying to get the crowd to calm down, then later after the inning ended and Dyson said something to Troy Tulowitzki.
Several Rangers players said after the game they did not appreciate Bautista’s bat flip. They were hardly the only ones who felt that way, but, since they were on the field for that homer, it hits a little closer to home for them.
2. Blue Jays vs. Rangers, round 1
The Blue Jays and Rangers met for the first time this season earlier this month. It was a four-game series at Rogers Centre in Toronto, and that series was played without incident. No intentional plunkings, no bases clearing incidences, nothing like that. The Blue Jays won three of four games. The retaliation waited until the two teams played in Texas.
3. Gibbons gets ejected to kick off Round 2
Round 2 was played this weekend in Texas. The two teams split the first two games Friday and Saturday, so Sunday was the rubber game.
Johnny Cueto, Changeup (HP view) pic.twitter.com/m2czgmtM2U
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 27, 2016
And the people of baseball gasp as one. We know how well Cueto hides the ball and throws off the hitter’s timing with his boogie-music delivery, but then you get that filth. It looks just like the fastball out of the hand — coming at you in the same “tunnel” — but then it dives just before it reaches the plate. Filth. Filth, I say. Also note that that’s a somewhat unconventional righty-on-righty changeup (something Cueto isn’t averse to using). That’s one of two changeups on which Rosales whiffed in this particular game.
The larger point is that when you’re asked whether you could hit a Johnny Cueto changeup — and it’s a matter of time until you’re asked this very question in a public forum — you should be honest with yourself and others say, “LOL, no.”