David DeJesus tells Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he’s cool with moving to right field:
“It’s one of those things,” DeJesus said. “I know I had a good year in
left. But we’re a team that needs a right fielder. Trey called me, and
now I’m a right fielder. I’m going to play wherever they put me in the
DeJesus, 30, has made only 16 starts in right field during his major league career, but was asked to make the switch after the Royals inked Rick Ankiel to play center field and Scott Podsednik to play left. Only Carl Crawford fared than better than DeJesus among major league left fielders in UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) last season. DeJesus did not make a single error in 1239 1/3 innings overall (includes three games in center and two games in right).
Factoring in his 4.9 career UZR/150 in center field (481 starts), far surpassing Ankiel (granted, in limiting showings) and Podsednik, I’m surprised that the Royals didn’t just go with their best defensive player in center. But what do I know, I blog in my pajamas while eating Fruity Pebbles and Dayton Moore, um, general manages.
Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:
“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.
“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”
Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.