I spoke to Martin Prado and Brandon McCarthy about trying times in Arizona, and the refreshment of entering a pennant race with the Yankees.
Yangervis Solarte has taken the league by storm in just eight big league games - and David Ortiz has taken notice.
"I watched a game he had in Houston. To be honest with you, it got me goosebumps," Ortiz said ahead of Boston’s Thursday showdown with the Yankees. "I mean, this guy has so much intensity…God, man."
Solarte has filled the hole left at 3B after Mark Teixeira was placed on the DL Saturday with a hamstring strain, forcing Kelly Johnson to take over the starting duties at First. He leads the team with a .429 BA, 7 RBI, and an impressive 1.127 OPS through eight games. He’s the first Yankee since Hideki Matsui with a hit in each of his first seven starts, according to the Eilas Sports Bureau.
Ortiz said he’s seen only about six of Yangervis’ 31 plate appearances, but that’s been enough for him to make a determination. “This guy brings everything to the table when he’s hitting. I love to see that in young players,” Ortiz said.
He even went as far as to give some advice to Solarte, who he met for the first time while Boston was taking batting practice. “I wished him the best and gave him some good advice,” Ortiz said. “Young player like that, you’ve got to keep them straight. Let them know the way to go about their business every day so they can play this game long enough.”
Big Papi went out of his way to see Yangervis before Thursday’s contest, asking one of his teammates to go over and get him. As Ortiz put it, “We’re all gonna be replaced. Jeter’s gonna be replaced one day, I’m gonna be replaced one day. Baseball’s gonna continue.”
Who knows, maybe Solarte will be one of those replacements. Only time will tell.
We started a relatively new basketball podcast over at WFUV called the Pick and Pod. We were joined by Jared Dubin of Bloomberg Sports/Hardwood Paroxysm/Grantland yesterday to talk Pacers, the playoff race out west, and some other stuff. Listen here.
#Latergram Shabazz Napier, Most Outstanding Player in the East Regional #NCAATournament #MarchMadness #UConn #NCAA
It’s gotten pretty bad. In light of JR Smith’s boneheaded shot, Mike Woodson must be fired.