Sticking with the Los Angeles Times, there was a report there yesterday about FOX’s desire to use a new “Field Cam,” which would travel overhead the diamond, giving all of us at home new angles. Apparently they used it last night in the Dodgers-Angels exhibition game. There was something like this in the playoffs last fall, but that was limited in that the camera stayed in foul territory. This new thing would go over the actual field.
There are concerns voiced by players in the article about the camera being intrusive, even when it’s in foul territory. Fly balls go high, after all, so there’s always the potential for interference. Of course, given that baseball has no problem with an actual catwalk-laden stadium that routinely interferes with both fair and foul balls, I’m guessing this is something everyone could live with.
I liked those shots in the playoffs. I think it would be cool to have a camera track a runner going from first to third or catching a double play from a view directly overhead. I have faith that they could pull this off with minimal disruption.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.