Maicer Izturis calls fans doubting durability “ignorant people”

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Maicer Izturis fired back at fans who question his durability, as the Angels infielder told Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times that “those are ignorant people who say that” and “they don’t know the game.”

Izturis, who was on the disabled list three times last season and has played just 254 of a possible 486 games during the past three years, explained to Baxter that “I could play 140 games at 90 percent or 80 percent, but that’s not the way I play. I play 100 percent.”

Athletes playing through injury is generally met with too much praise, as they often play poorly or make the injury worse by doing so and ultimately don’t actually help the team. However, rarely will you hear a player admit that he’s unwilling to play at “90 percent or 80 percent” health, like Izturis did, which certainly isn’t going to stop “those ignorant people” from questioning his durability.

Izturis tried to downplay his missed time by bringing up all the games Josh Hamilton has missed for the Rangers, saying: “I don’t see people saying he’s fragile. They say he plays hard.” However, while it’s true that people say Hamilton plays hard, Izturis suggesting that Rangers fans and media members don’t question the reigning MVP’s durability shows his ignorance. Hamilton shifted away from center field because of concerns about staying healthy there and after his latest injury occurred running the bases there was tons of talk about how there’s really no way for the Rangers to keep him from getting injured. His being fragile is a major topic.

Most of all, though, there’s really nothing to be gained from a player calling fans of the team he plays on “ignorant people” who “don’t know the game.” Of course, right now he’s healthy and hitting .380, so fans probably won’t be too harsh on the guy with 27 hits in 16 games.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.