The Braves claim Joe Mather off waivers from St. Louis

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This is not exactly how I envisioned Atlanta fixing its outfield problem: the Braves claimed OF Joe Mather off waivers from the Cardinals. He hit a lusty.217 with three RBI in 60 at-bats with the Cardinals last year.

OK, I’m just being grumpy. I know that the Braves don’t think of him as a starter. If he even makes the team it will be as a utility guy, what with his ability to play first, third and all three outfield positions. Kind of a more flexible Eric Hinske or something.

One thing I didn’t need to hear out of all of this is Derrick Goold’s tweet a few minutes ago about how the Braves once tried to trade for Mather before, offering up — wait for it — Rafael Soriano for him.  I mean, we saw just how little the Braves would take for Soriano last winter when he was traded for belly button lint, but I’d prefer not to be reminded just how little they valued the guy, ya know?

The Angels to lower the right field wall

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The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.

The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.

One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.