Scott Podsednik, who signed a minor-league contract with the Blue Jays last week after previously turning down $2 million from the Dodgers, is wearing a walking boot because of plantar fasciitis.
John Lott of the National Post reports that Podsednik is due to be examined by doctors when he arrives at Blue Jays camp tomorrow and there’s currently “no timetable” for his readiness for game action. According to Lott, manager John Farrell indicated that the team didn’t know about the injury when they signed Podsednik, which is surprising given that it was just last week and so much of his value stems from speed.
Podsednik is slated to compete for a bench spot in Toronto, but could also be an option as the Blue Jays’ left fielder and leadoff man depending on how the rest of the lineup shakes out. He can earn $1 million by making the team, so Podsednik’s decision to decline his half of a mutual option with the Dodgers back in November will cost him at least $1 million even if he gets healthy and wins a job. And with an injury that tends to linger, that’s far from a guarantee.
We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.
StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.
Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.
That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.
All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.
Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.