After falling out of first place by beginning the month 8-16 the Indians have turned to their farm system for help, calling up standout third base prospect Lonnie Chisenhall in time for tonight’s game in Arizona.
Chisenhall’s numbers in the minors haven’t been jaw-dropping and include a modest .265 batting average and .779 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A this season, but at just 22 years old the former first-round pick has been very young for every level and Baseball America ranked him as one of their top 40 prospects this season and last season.
Veteran utility man Adam Everett was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Chisenhall, who projects as the Indians’ long-term starter at third base. However, like most young left-handed hitters Chisenhall has struggled versus left-handed pitching, so manager Manny Acta may give him days off versus tough southpaws early on. He’s batting seventh tonight against right-hander Ian Kennedy
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!