Casey Kotchman sets defensive record for first basemen

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Kotchman Mariners headshot.jpgI mentioned this in the recaps, but it deserves its own post: last night Casey Kotchman set the record for most consecutive defensive chances at first base without an error.  He’s at 2,008 after last night’s game.  The previous mark was Kevin Youkilis’ 2,002.  Youkilis still has the consecutive games streak at 238.  Kotchman has 230 straight error-free games.

It’s probably an open question whether Kotchman deserves to stick around to break the consecutive games record. He’s hitting .191/.273/.309.  For his career he’s a below-average major league hitter which makes him a profoundly substandard hitter for a first baseman.

Kudos on the defense, of course, but leather alone is not even a good reason to keep someone at shortstop anymore, let alone at first base.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.

Jimmy Rollins wants to play in 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 10:  Jimmy Rollins #7 of the Chicago White Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 10, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.

Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.

Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.