Following Tuesday’s 15-4 win over the Rangers, the Angels made the move many had anticipated since the end of last season, designating former top prospect Brandon Wood for assignment.
The transaction opens up a roster spot for the returning Erick Aybar.
Wood reached on an error in his lone at-bat in tonight’s rout. He was 2-for-14 with eight strikeouts on the season. In his major league career, he’s hit .168 with 11 homers, 33 RBI and a ridiculous 153/13 K/BB ratio in 463 at-bats.
Wood was rated by Baseball America as the game’s No. 3 prospect prior to the 2006 season and No. 8 prospect a year later. He hit 43 homers for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2005 and then 25 in Double-A the next year. While he struggled some in his first year in Triple-A in 2007, he still was largely a success in Triple-A, hitting .283/.350/.536 with 77 homers in 1,437 at-bats for Salt Lake. He just hasn’t been able to carry that over to the majors, though, and his awful approach at the plate has left him with few believers.
That said, it would be something of a surprise if Wood clears waivers. He plays a capable shortstop and an above average third base. He’s just 26 and the power is there for him to hit 20-to-25 homers per year in the majors. The Mariners and Astros both have little to play for this year and long-term question marks on the left side of their infielders, so both should consider putting in a claim. The Pirates and Dodgers are other teams that might weigh a move.
Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.
Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.
Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.
A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.
The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:
- Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
- Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
- Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
- Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.
As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.
The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.
La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.