The Royals made a pair of roster moves early Saturday, placing Chris Getz on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right oblique and activating Alex Gordon from the 15-day disabled list, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
Gordon began the season on the DL because of a broken right thumb suffered on a head-first slide on March 6. He homered in his first at-bat for Triple-A Omaha on Friday after batting .235 (4-for-17) with two RBI in seven rehab games with Class A Wilmington.
Gordon, now 26 years old, has yet to meet the heavy expectations adorned upon him as a former first-round pick, batting just .250/.331/.415 over his first three seasons in the majors. He only played 49 games last season, thanks to hip surgery in May and a demotion in August — otherwise known as a rather obvious attempt to delay his free agency until 2013.
The Royals could have opted to recall Mike Aviles to play second base, but by activating Gordon, Alberto Callaspo is expected to shift back to his old stomping grounds.
The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.
Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.
Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.
Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.
Here’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s about some studies of hitters who use weighted bats or doughnuts on their bats in the on deck circle. Turns out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, using a weighted bat for practice hacks does not speed up one’s swing when one uses a naked bat in the batter’s box. In fact, it slows it down.
There are lots of caveats here. The sample size in the studies are small and they all involve college and high school players, not big leaguers. The results, however, are consistent with previous studies and they do make some intuitive sense. This is particularly the case with batting doughnuts, which add weight to a very concentrated portion of the bat, thereby changing the center of gravity and thus the swing mechanics of the hitter.
Whether this is applicable at large or to higher level hitters or not, I still find it kind of neat. I always like it when people scrutinize ingrained habits and ask whether or not that thing we’ve always done is, in fact, worth doing.