Alex Rodriguez might not be in the proverbial “best shape of his life,” but he did show up to Yankees camp this weekend with a trimmer self.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the 35-year-old Rodriguez dropped from 233 pounds to 223 pounds this offseason and slid his body fat from 12 percent to nine percent.
Rodriguez has played in at least 116 games in each of the last 15 seasons, but he will turn 36 years old this summer and knows that he needs to stay ahead of the curve fitness-wise to remain an effective third baseman over the course of his massive contract. The DH spot is spoken for this year and should probably be inhabited by Derek Jeter in two years or so.
A-Rod slugged 30 home runs, batted .270/.341/.506 and tallied 125 RBI over 137 games last season.
Watch, Cowboys Stadium popcorn will become a staple for the next great dieting fad.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.