Let me preface this with a calming word: Josh Hamilton is not going to move from the outfield to first base, at least not by next season.
But it has been discussed.
Hamilton told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that he would be open to — but is not requesting — a position change.
The current Rangers left fielder has been out since September 4 due to rib fractures that he suffered while running into an outfield wall and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his professional career. But he is one of the top defensive outfielders in the game and a move to first base would hurt his value to the Rangers in the present and his value as a potential free agent in the future.
“I’m open to playing anywhere,” Hamilton told the Morning News. “I think I’m a pretty good
outfielder and I just always thought I’d play the outfield as long as I
could, and if one day somebody wanted to move me to first or DH, then
I’d do that.”
Rangers GM Jon Daniels echoed that he is in no rush to make a move, even given Hamilton’s injury struggles. The MVP candidate biked for 20 minutes Tuesday and is hoping to play around three or four games before the end of the regular season.
The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.
Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.
Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.
As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.
We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.
FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :
Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.