News of the New York Mets sending outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday took some by surprise, including the Mets’ marketing department.
Hours after the Mets sent Byrd along with catcher John Buck to the National League contenders in exchange for infield prospect Dilson Herrera, the Mets realized they had a minor problem on their hands: Tuesday night was scheduled to be “Marlon Byrd T-shirt night”.
The shirts have Byrd's No. 6 along with his name etched on the back with “let it fly” written on the front.
Byrd, 35, is hitting .285 this season with a career-high 21 homers. The 33-year-old Buck has 15 home runs and 60 RBIs this season and will serve as Russell Martin’s backup.
Herrera was playing with Class A West Virginia prior to Tuesday’s movement.
MLBER CHASING JAPAN RECORD
A former MLBer is five home runs away from breaking Japan's single-season home run record.
Wladimir Balentien, who began his career with the Seattle Mariners in 2007 before a brief stint with the Cincinnati Reds, hit two bombs Tuesday as he looks to match or beat the Japanese record of 55 home runs.
The Yakult Swallows, Balentien’s current club, has 33 games remaining this season.
The record, which has stood for close to 50 years, was first accomplished by Sadaharu Oh in 1964 before former MLBers Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera matched the record in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
BEACHY’S ELBOW OK
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Brandon Beachy has no structural damage in his elbow but will remain shut down for 10 days before he attempts to throw again.
The right-hander was examined Monday by Dr. James Andrews, who confirmed that there is no additional damage to an elbow that underwent Tommy John reconstruction surgery last year after Beachy tore the ulnar collateral ligament while leading the National League in ERA. He returned in late July but has not pitched since Aug. 20.
"He confirmed what I've been hoping," Beachy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. "He just thought it was inflamed, a lot of fluid in there. The ligament is intact and it's good news."
The 26-year-old Beachy had made five starts since his return from the surgery and was 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA before he felt discomfort in the elbow.
There is a possibility that Beachy could be used as a reliever if he's able to return. Without Beachy, the Braves' starting rotation consists of Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Kris Medlen, Paul Maholm and Alex Wood.
"Obviously, I think of myself as a starter and plan to be a starter in the future, but I'm no dummy," Beachy told the Journal-Constitution. "You look at the timing of everything, I'm willing to help this team any way I can. Obviously, my first priority is making sure I'm healthy and then beyond that helping this team win is paramount."
- with files from The Sports Xchange
News of the Pirates acquiring Byrd and Buck on Tuesday was followed by revelations from CBS Sports that Pittsburgh has turned its attention to landing Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. The 32-year-old Morneau cleared waivers last week and CBS says the Twins are willing to pay at least some of the $3 million left on Morneau’s salary if he’s moved … The Detroit Tigers activated catcher Alex Avila from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. The 26-year-old has been out since Aug. 10 due to reoccurring headaches after taking a foul tip off his mask … Colorado Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt told reporters Monday night he has suffered a torn ligament in his elbow. The 38-year-old said he’ll opt for platelet-rich plasma therapy instead of Tommy John surgery, according to ESPN … The San Diego Padres released right-hander Edinson Volquez on Tuesday after the 30-year-old passed through waivers unclaimed … The Tampa Bay Rays optioned right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson to the club’s single-A affiliate in Charlotte … The Arizona Diamondbacks designated outfielder Jason Kubel for assignment Tuesday … The Baltimore Orioles activated third baseman Wilson Betemit from the 60-day disabled list Tuesday.