Ron Costello

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Carlos Santana, off to a slow start in April.
When the Phillies signed Carlos Santana, two thoughts immediately came to mind: 1) Does the club really need this guy? His stats aren't much better than Tommy Joseph's, and 2) Santana is a solid big league player, perhaps they want him to mentor Maikel Franco.

Well whoop de do, twelve games into the season Franco is hitting .258 with two bombs and 12 RBI's, a considerable upgrade over how he ended 2017, carrying a .230 batting average into Halloween.

I suppose Santana is mentoring a lot because he sure isn't hitting: a buck fifty with two home runs in 11 games. Only two players have played in 11 of the 12 games: Santana and Rhys Hoskins.

Meanwhile, Tommy Joseph is languishing in the Texas League with the Frisco RoughRiders, the Rangers Double-A club 25 miles north of Dallas, where he'll help open the season tonight at Dr. Pepper Park.

I hope he likes Country Music, where Bob Wills is still the king.

But enough of that. Twelve games into the season Santana isn't the only Phillies' slugger doing the Limbo under the Mendoza Line: Aaron Altherr .074; J.P. Crawford .103; and catchers Jorge Alfaro .167 and Andrew Knapp .176.

Speaking of catchers, Cameron Rupp is sitting right on the Mendoza Line hitting .200 with the Texas Rangers Triple-A club, the Round Rock Express, just north of Austin. Bob Willis is really the king there.

The Yankees placed CC Sabathia on the DL with a hip strain. At 37 (38 in July), this didn't come as a surprise. What is a surprise is that the Bronx Bombers passed on Jake Arrieta — knowing Sabathia is, delicate? — six years younger than Sabathia unless...

After Arietta got semi-hammered in his Phillies debut — giving up three hits in three runs over four innings — maybe the Yankees passed for a reason. We will see. Arietta is scheduled to pitch Saturday in Tampa Bay.

On a side note, how 'bout them Sixers? It's great to see their coach, Brett Brown, enjoying success after he spent the tanking years with the team. Perhaps it would have been professional — nice? — for the Phillies to have given Pete Mackanin a shot with some real players after, like Brett Brown, he managed the team through the stinko years.

Naw, that wouldn't have worked. Besides, look who we've got now!

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