Jerry Manuel’s grand experiment is over. Jose Reyes will bat leadoff against the Marlins on Saturday night, according to David Lennon of New York Newsday.
It was a worthwhile idea at the time, but Reyes batted just .207/.253/.280 with zero homers, six RBI and a 533 OPS over 82 at-bats as the No. 3 hitter. He is batting just .182 (10-for-55) in May and carries a .215/.267/.289 batting line into Saturday’s action.
Unfortunately, Reyes has fell into some pretty bad habits at the plate, swinging at a career-high 35.5 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, so hopefully a return to the leadoff spot will allow him to be more selective.
Reyes is simply swapping places with Angel Pagan in the lineup, who will bat third against left-hander Nate Robertson on Saturday. Somewhere in Florida, Carlos Beltran just went for a brisk jog.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.