Not very many people were buying Ryne Sandberg’s excuse about why Marlon Byrd was sitting out a Tuesday night game with the New York Mets. Sandberg said it was because Byrd had hit a foul ball off his foot, but that the outfielder would be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s noon game after a “rest.”
That’s curious because that foul ball off his foot did seem to hinder Byrd’s hitting stroke on Monday night, when he went 4-for-5 for an otherwise impotent Philadelphia Phillies’ offense in a 7-1 loss.
Something seems fishy about that excuse, and that’s where the Seattle Mariners come into play. The Phillies are supposedly in last-minute negotiations to ship Byrd off to the Mariners for a prospect or two before Thursday’s MLB trade deadline. Heck, maybe another team or two is involved.
Without Byrd, the Phillies hammered the Mets 6-0 on Tuesday night, but Byrd’s value could only be enhanced by sitting after going 4-for-5. That game alone brought Byrd’s average up from .268 to .273 to go along with his 20 home runs and 60 RBIs.
There are not very many hitters in baseball with numbers that impressive, and that is why the Mariners, among others, have to be salivating at the prospect of adding his services. Sitting after a 4-for-5 game might sound strange for any other player, but not for someone who is about to be told to pack his bags for a winning team.
The Phillies might be finalizing a Byrd deal, and that could be the possible explanation about the “rest.” Byrd is back in the lineup for today’s noon game, but that doesn’t mean he will stay in it for the full nine innings, which makes the game more intriguing.