I just spoke with my buddy Norm Wamer at 106.5 The Ticket in Toledo. Norm tells me that he was on a conference call with Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski this morning, talking about the Jhonny Peralta signing. During the call someone asked him, basically, what’s next? The response was that they were looking at the middle of the lineup. Dombrowski was coy, but the reporters tried to get some hints by asking him what position they were looking to fill. When Dombrowski wouldn’t say, they asked him if it would be someone they’d consider asking to DH. Dombrowski dodged the question.
Take all of this second hand kind of stuff for what it’s worth, but you’d figure that if Dombrowski had his sights set on someone like Carl Crawford he’d say no, we’re looking at the outfield, wouldn’t you? Of course, it’s also possible that Dombrowski just doesn’t want anyone to know who he’s targeting — smart, even! — but the reporters on the phone call came away thinking that Dombrowski’s responses suggested that he’s looking at Adam Dunn or Victor Martinez. Both of whom are guys who could spend a lot of time at DH in Detroit but who might not want to. And might certainly not want to hear it from a team that’s courting them.
But don’t take my hearsay at face value. Norm is going to have Dombrowski’s comments on his show at around 3:30, and you can hear it streaming here.
Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:
“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.
“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”
Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.