Jose Canseco is serious about making a comeback

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“He’s an extremely nice guy, very down to earth, and he knows the situation… He’s self-aware.”

What are “things probably no one else in the history of the world has said about Jose Canseco,” Alex?

Canseco is serious about making a comeback.  He has an agent and everything.  Adam Fusfeld has the story over at Business Insider this morning.  It’s well worth a read because it’s not Canseco himself talking. Instead it’s his agent, Nello Gamberdino, who is trying to land Canseco a job in Korea or Japan.  He has his work cut out for him:

“The main obstacle that I’ve had to get over as his agent is when you initially throw his name out there, people think it’s a joke. We’re trying to make it clear that, no, he’s not doing this as a publicity stunt; he’s doing this because he wants to play, he loves baseball, and he still feels he can contribute as a player. In this country where everyone has a second, third, and sometimes fourth chance at redemption, why can’t someone step up and help him? There are certainly guys in baseball that have done far worse than write a book.”

I don’t think the biggest obstacle is that people think Canseco is a joke. I think it’s the fact that he was below the Mendoza Line when he played in the independent leagues several years ago.  Baseball will forgive many sins.  If Canseco was younger and could still hit, he likely would have even been forgiven for his steroids books by now.  But he’s 46 and there’s no reasonable expectation that he can can contribute to competitive baseball any longer. And even if he could still play, Asian baseball leagues don’t do non-conformity and celebrity very well.

Good luck in your future endeavors, Mr. Canseco, but I think you’re far more likely to be drawing your major league pension than a check for actually playing baseball in the future.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.