I thought that Jim Leyland’s claim that Miguel Cabrera was in the best shape of his life was the final nail in the coffin of my favorite spring training cliche. It seems, however, that Russell Martin is truly the man who took the BSOML meme out back and beat it to death with a large club.
Why? Because as Sam Miller of the OC Register notes, Martin has claimed, in one way or another, to be in the best shape of his life for four years running. But click through for the graphs Sam added and you realize that it may very well be that getting in shape is the worst thing that ever happened to Martin. Either that or he has used BSOML to mask quickly eroding baseball skills.
Naw, no one would ever do that, would they?
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.