From Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star comes word that the Angels have acquired third baseman Alberto Callaspo from the Royals for righty Sean O’Sullivan and minor league left-hander Will Smith.
The Angels opened the season with Brandon Wood at third base and had high hopes for the 25-year-old, but he’s hit just .168/.185/.225 in 173 at-bats and the Halos have struggled to find an answer at the position.
As a whole, actually, third basemen in Anaheim have posted a combined batting average of .214 this season. That’s the worst combined batting average at any position, on any team, in the majors.
The 27-year-old Callaspo is a pretty solid defender and has batted .275/.308/.410 with eight homers and 43 RBI in 349 at-bats for the Royals. The Angels will hope that he can help the club climb closer to the Rangers, who currently hold a five-game lead in the American League West.
Of course, they had to unload some rather serious talent in the three-player swap. Smith is a fast-rising left-hander and has worked his way to Triple-A at the age of 21. O’Sullivan, 22, has enjoyed early success in the major leagues, most recently holding the Yankees to two hits over six innings Tuesday in a 10-2 victory. He’s likely to step right into the Kansas City starting rotation.
People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.
That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”
The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.
In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?
The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.
My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.
If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.
Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.
So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?