Update: According to Ladson, the Nationals have not confirmed their interest in Benson, although they did attend one of his recent workouts. Benson’s agent Gregg Clifton hopes to meet with general manager Mike Rizzo in Tampa next week, where arbitration hearings are scheduled to take place. Clifton also represents right-hander Brian Bruney, whose arbitration case is scheduled for Tuesday, so the two sides have some talking to do. Benson’s name will probably come up at some point, though he hasn’t pitched a full season since 2006.
Friday, 4:55 pm: Bill Ladson of MLB.com tweets that the Nationals are interested in Kris Benson and that Mike Rizzo and Benson’s agent are gonna have a cawfee and tawk about it next week.
I find it strange that the Nats are on record this winter saying that they want to bring in some innings-eating mediocrity of a starter — which they even once said was a “Livan Hernandez-type” — yet they haven’t called former Nat Livan Hernandez, who still sits out there unemployed and who figures to at least be way healthier than a guy like Benson.
The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday afternoon that former major leaguer Dan Haren has been named the organization’s new pitching strategist. The role will include working with the front office, the major league coaching staff, and the analytics department.
Haren, 36, ended his 13-year playing career after the 2015 season. He finished with a 153-131 record and a 3.75 ERA across 2,419 2/3 innings.
Since retiring, Haren has been one of the more enjoyable players to follow on Twitter. He promised to teach his disciples how to tweet as part of his new responsibilities.
For a guy who won a World Series MVP Award and has been to a couple of All-Star Games, it’s amazing how many stories have been written about Pablo Sandoval‘s off-the-field exploits compared to his on-the-field exploits. Specifically, stories about his conditioning. Or lack of conditioning. Of him getting into shape, falling out of shape and getting back into shape again. It’s been this way since he emerged as an everyday player in 2009.
And it continues anew:
There is no claim here that Sandoval is, in fact, in The Best Shape of His Life. However, longtime BSOHL fans know that the claim is not about the magic words being used. The idea is that, in the offseason, players with something to prove will routinely make an effort to create the impression that they are a new man. Often it is from claiming that one is in The Best Shape of His Life. Often it comes from surrogates talking about how many pounds of fat one has lost or pounds of pure muscle one has added. Sometimes — as here — it comes in the form of showing post-workout photos.
Whatever the purpose of the photo, Sandoval is certainly looking good compared to where he was last spring:
Or at the end of the 2015 season:
Even if this is part of a plan to get Sandoval some good press heading into the 2017 season, I’m happy to see that he appears to be recovered from shoulder surgery and appears to be taking good care of himself and is thinking about his baseball futrue.
Either way, expect the Panda Weight Watch to continue at Red Sox spring training come February.