Prospect hounds and Indians fans will find this interesting: Cleveland called up infield prospect Cord Phelps today, and started him at second base in the game going on right now against the Twins. He grounded out to second in his first at bat.
Phelps was a third round pick in the 2008 draft. So far this year at Columbus he has hit 299/.391/.488. Throughout his minor league career he has shown a good eye and gap power. A switch hitter, Phelps is particularly effective against right-handers. Given that the Indians’ usual second baseman Orlando Cabrera is decidedly not, we can probably assume that there will be a platoon there for a good while.
To make room for Phelps, the Indians optioned Shelley Duncan back here to Columbus. Which, on the merits probably isn’t fair to Duncan, but makes a lot of roster sense given that he has an option left. And hey, my daughter will be happy that he’s back in town, so there’s that.
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.