Joba Chamberlain is the most overrated player, say other players

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Sports Illustrated conducted a poll of 187 major leaguers. I presume they asked more than just this one question and will be publishing it soon, but for now they’re releasing the results of the “who is the most overrated player in baseball” question. The top five:

  • Joba Chamberlain 12%
  • Alex Rodriguez 5%
  • Gary Matthews Jr. 5%
  • Nick Swisher 4%
  • J.D. Drew 3%

Kind of weird results if you ask me. The fact that hardly anyone broke 5% leads you to believe that there is nothing approaching agreement on a question like this.

To the extent Joba Chamberlain has been overrated by anyone recently it was probably by people like me who thought that he maybe should have beaten out Phil Hughes for the rotation slot. But (a) we were probably wrong; and (b) it’s not like a lot of players read people like me anyway.  Most mainstream people have been questioning Chamberlain for a long time now.

A-Rod is also an interesting answer. I can see it, though between him and Chamberlain and even Nick Swisher appearing here, I wonder if the players were interpreting the question as “who gets more media coverage than they really warrant” as opposed to how overrated their skills are. A-Rod and Swisher are both good, but probably get too much attention. I don’t know that anyone really overrates their value as players.

Surprised to see both Matthews and Drew in the top five too. If anything I think Drew is underrated, with people slamming him (wrongfully, I think) for his perceived lack of effort or malingering while underselling his contributions on the field. You’d think that, if anything, Drew would fare better when other players rated him than media people and fans, but I guess not.  As for Matthews: does anyone actually consider him decent at all to justify a claim that he’s overrated?

Eh, just a poll so who cares, but kind of curious anyway.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.