World Series MVP Edgar Renteria said over the weekend that he has no plans to hang ’em up and now he tells Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com that he is willing to move to second base in order to prolong his career.
Here’s the link on Twitter and the news story on ESPN Deportes, if you are in the mood for some translating.
Spoken like a true free agent. For all his injuries and general lack of production over the past two seasons, Renteria is still a perfectly capable defensive shortstop. Perhaps moving to a less demanding position would allow him to stay on the field, but this sounds like an effort to increase his marketability rather than his true preference. He’s not going to find anywhere close to the $9 million he made this past season, but the 35-year-old should be able to find a starting job somewhere.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.