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Big League Stew

Five things you may have missed while teams were dealing

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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If you're a big baseball fan, there's a good chance you were glued to Jeff Passan's Trade Tracker and Big League Stew's 2011 trade deadline live blog over the weekend, monitoring the always crazy final hours of baseball's July 31 deadline. If that's the case, let's fill you in on a few of the on-field happenings you may have missed.

1. Derek Jeter hit on hand, Francisco Cervelli debuts at second base: A strange series of events unfolded for the New York Yankees during their 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. During his the third inning at-bat, Derek Jeter was struck on the hand by a Jake Arrieta pitch — yes, the same Jake Arrieta that plunked Jose Bautista in the helmet on Tuesday — and was forced to leave the game a couple innings later.

Watch Jeter get hit

We've since learned Jeter's hand is not broken, and that he's likely to return to the Yankees lineup by the middle of the week. But his exit Sunday left manager Joe Girardi in a little predicament. Everyday second baseman Robinson Cano was actually in the lineup at DH, which left the Yankees short-handed on the infield. Not wanting to give up the DH, he called upon backup catcher Francisco Cervelli to fill the void, with Eduardo Nunez moving from second to shortstop.

Obviously he wasn't expecting his manager's request.

"He said, you're going to play second base," Cervelli said. "I was like, OK, a little surprised, but let's do it."

Cervelli has spent a handful of innings at third base the past two seasons, so fielding a groundball isn't completely foreign. But this was his debut at second base.

"I can now say I played second base in the big leagues for the Yankees."

And he even made a nice play, ranging to his left and throwing across his body to second for a force out on his only chance. He was then removed after two innings when Girardi elected to forfeit his DH to have Cano's defense at second. Good thing they carry three catchers. If Russell Martin had been injured at that point, who knows what they would have done. {YSP:MORE}

2. Giants swept in Cincinnati: One team that was silent over the weekend was the Cincinnati Reds. Well, at least from the trade perspective. On the field, they were making all kinds of noise, sweeping the San Francisco Giants out of Cincinnati.

Friday: The Giants were done in by their former World Series MVP, Edgar Renteria, who delivered a 13th-inning game-winning single off Brian Wilson.

Saturday: Madison Bumgarner suffered through his second disastrous first inning of the 2011. Back on June 21, he was lit up for eight runs on nine hits in one-third of an inning by the Minnesota Twins. This time, seven straight Reds reached after one out, five scored, and Cincinnati eventually won it, 7-2.

Sunday: The story was Johnny Cueto. Cincinnati's 25-year-old right-hander limited the Giants to three hits, striking out six, and went the distance on a 9-0 shutout. In the process, Cueto took over the ERA lead from Jered Weaver by lowering his to 1.72.

3. Jim Thome hits No. 597: Minneota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome moved to within three of 600 home runs with his opposite-field shot off Brandon McCarthy on Sunday. It was Thome's first home run since his mammoth 490-foot shot back on July 17. By my calculations, a home run every two weeks means fans attending Minnesota's home game with the Detroit Tigers on Sept. 11 should be prepared to witness history.

4. Prince Fielder visits the second deck at Miller Park: Speaking of monumental home runs, Prince Fielder added another to his résumé with a 475-foot blast at Miller Park Saturday night. That's the second-longest home run in the park's 10-year history.

5. Heads up: Rough weekend for a couple different fans. In Cincinnati, a fan sitting in the first row behind the Giants dugout was struck in the face by Cody Ross' flying bat. It appeared the gentleman was attempting to protect other fans from the projectile when he was hit. Thankfully, he only suffered a cut on his cheek.

Watch his courageous act

At Yankee Stadium, a fan positioned near the right-field foul pole took a direct hit in the face by an Eric Chavez rocket. The fan appeared to be looking in the direction of the field, but either lost track of the ball or wasn't paying attention off the bat. He suffered a bloody nose, and possibly a bruised ego.

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Folks, when they say watch out for flying objects, they aren't kidding.

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