What's the deal with spring training caps

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Teams wear strange and different caps for spring training than they do during the season.  I suppose it’s obvious why they do this — to sell caps to dorks like me who will actually buy them — but it’s rather startling to hear someone admit it. Here’s ESPN’s uniform dude, Paul Lukas:

Uni Watch posed that very question the other day to Todd Sokolowski, an
executive at cap manufacturer New Era, who turned out to be
refreshingly candid. “Truthfully, it’s mostly an opportunity for fans
to buy additional caps,” he said. “So the reason we keep changing the
design? Yeah, it’s for retail.”

Wow. I never actually thought they’d just come out and admit it. It’s a candor so refreshing that I may actually go out and buy a spring training cap.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.