Earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that CC Sabathia lost 30 pounds during the offseason, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman isn’t buying it.
Here’s what Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com after seeing Sabathia in person recently:
I don’t believe it. I saw him at the B.A.T. dinner and he didn’t look like he lost 30 pounds to me. Maybe half that amount. We haven’t weighed him so I don’t now where that number comes from. He obviously has worked very hard to rehab his knee and he’s lost some weight, but he’s still around 300 pounds. Clearly, he’s a tremendous athlete and he can handle it , but it has to be managed so it doesn’t become a problem. I just think 30 pounds would have been a lot more noticeable.
As a longtime fatso who has shed 30-plus pounds on numerous occasions over the years, I can tell you from experience that it’s almost impossible to eyeball whether someone as big as Sabathia has lost 15 pounds or 30 pounds (or, for that matter, gained 15 pounds or 30 pounds). Once you get to be that size–and my guess is Sabathia is well over his listed weight of 307 pounds–the random weight fluctuations are pretty huge and you can easily drop 20-30 pounds in a very limited amount of time.
In other words, Cashman probably can’t accurately gauge Sabathia’s weight just by looking at him wearing a suit at a charity event and someone as big as Sabathia losing 30 pounds in an offseason really isn’t such an impressive feat anyway. I could easily lose 30 pounds by the end of the month. You know, if I wasn’t so lazy and didn’t like Chinese food so much.
Also of note is that this continues Cashman’s offseason-long pattern of saying more and more outspoken things in the media for seemingly no good reason. It started with the Derek Jeter negotiations and extended to telling everyone that he was forced to sign Rafael Soriano for $35 million, and now he’s basically saying “eh, Sabathia still looks like a fatso” following reports that the Yankees’ ace tried to get into better shape.
I’m not complaining, of course, because an outspoken Cashman is a whole lot of fun for guys like me. I’m just not sure what he and the Yankees stand to gain from it. Or maybe I’m just so used to the general manager of my beloved Twins refusing to say anything of interest through the media, ever, that it only seems weird for Cashman to be so open. Or maybe I’m just ornery because I haven’t eaten in a while.
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.
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.