Astros take Game Two
After dropping Game One of the World Series, the Houston Astros were staring in the face the possibility of falling behind the Atlanta Braves two games to none with both of those losses coming at home. José Urquidy and José Altuve had different ideas, though. Really, this was a well-rounded effort with Houston scoring seven runs and each of them being driven in by a different player, but Altuve did have a homer and a double while Urquidy tossed five innings of two-run ball.
Houston had control for most of this game, taking the lead in the bottom of the first for the first time. Atlanta, to their credit, did tie things up in the second, but that was the last time this really felt like a ballgame. Max Fried has been a big part of the Braves’ success, but he struggled mightily in the second and the Astros used their ability to make contact to score four runs in a relentless rally. Atlanta would pull back to within three with a run in the fifth, but Houston would answer back with a run in each of the sixth and seventh innings to finish out the 7-2 win.
With the series now tied at one game apiece, these two sides are off on Thursday before picking things back up in Cobb County on Friday.
Marlins agree to extension with Miguel Rojas
The big story around the player pool available in free agency this winter around baseball is at shortstop, with a deep class at the position including some of the best in the league. Those players have yet to officially hit the market, but the Miami Marlins took care of their standing at the position for the next few years. The team on Wednesday agreed to a two-year extension with shortstop Miguel Rojas worth $10 million. He had been under team control through 2022 anyway, but this locks in a bit of a cost certainty for the coming year ahead of arbitration and buys a year of free agency in the process.
In the 2020 season when Miami surprisingly made their way into the expanded playoff field, Rojas was one of the biggest leaders in the clubhouse in addition to being one of that team’s best players. The 32-year-old (he turns 33 before Opening Day) put up a 142 wRC+ in the shortened 2020 season while playing his typically great defense. That performance was out of line with his career norms, however. Rojas is always good for his defense at shortstop, which is no small thing, but over his career he’s more typically been in the 90s in wRC+. This past year he finished with a mark of 97.
As far as Red Sox impact on this one, there likely isn’t a whole lot, if any. There has been increasing chatter regarding Xander Bogaerts’ future at the position, but I’m still not really anticipating any change coming for next year. The only potential impact I can see is that maybe the Yankees sit out the premium class of free agents at shortstop and target a good glove instead. In that case, Rojas would have been a trade candidate, but I’d be surprised if they’re not more interested in the Corey Seagers and Trevor Storys of the world.
Arizona Fall League Update
It was another relatively quiet day for Red Sox prospects in Arizona, who were playing under the lights for a night game this time around. Triston Casas was the top player to get a start, and he went 1-4 with a single and a walk with a strikeout. Also starting were Kole Cottam at catcher and Christian Koss at shortstop. The former went 1-4 with a single and a strikeout while the latter went 0-4 and made two errors in the field.