One could reasonably criticize the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano for various things he’s done while suffering from a bad back. Gotta be careful and everything, because his health is important.
One could also unreasonably criticize the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano for the way he handles himself while he’s recovering from his injuries. This bit, from Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune, looks pretty damn unreasonable to me:
Now get a load of this: Zambrano plans to fly to Guatemala over the All-Star break to prepare for the adoption of his son. Can you say “utter disrespect,’’ boys and girls?
He calls Zambrano a “dope” for doing this and the Cubs “dopes” for allowing it.
Yeah, I mean, where does he get off? How dare you claim you can’t fly with the team to Washington for an early-July series against the Nationals in which you would not have participated while doing silly stuff like going to Guatemala to adopt a baby boy?! Those things are totally equivalent in terms of importance! How disrespectful of you, dumb dumb Carlos Zambrano for doing it and dumb dumb Cubs for allowing it!
Some folks get criticized for missing the game as a result of having their heads buried in spreadsheets. Better that than to miss the important things in life as a result of having your head buried in a game.
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.