Thing number one: Angels GM Tony Reagins hasn’t totally ruled out bringing him back for 2011:
“Would I say that it’s completely out of the likelihood that he’ll be
back? I can’t say that at this point. You never know.”
Eh, I’m going to assume that’s just polite talk, because the Angels likely aren’t going to have room for him, what with Bobby Abreu almost certainly moving into the DH slot. Still, given how everyone has assumed that Matsui was one-and-done in Anaheim, even a vague comment suggesting otherwise is noteworthy.
Something else you didn’t know: For all of the talk early in the season about Vlad Guerrero breaking out down in Texas and Matsui disappointing in Anaheim, Matsui actually finished the year with a higher OPS+ — that is, park adjusted OPS — than Vlad did (124 to 122). Matsui finished the season pretty darn strong, and ended up with a stat line that was pretty darn close to his career averages.
Matsui isn’t done. Someone would be wise to take a chance on him for one more year. Hell, if they don’t win the World Series thanks to some poor clutch hitting this month, that someone could even be the Yankees, couldn’t it?
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.
The Red Sox inked Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract back in August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.