In an effort to solve his problems hitting in day games Josh Hamilton wore a pair of specially designed sunglasses yesterday, but after going 0-for-3 he ditched the shades in his final plate appearance … and drew a walk.
Hamilton has also tried eye drops and what Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas describes as “lid scrubs designed to wipe away sweat that can make its way to the eye and dry on the cornea overnight.”
And nothing has worked yet, as the reigning MVP is hitting just .111 in 18 day games this season to continue career-long struggles in the afternoon. At night he’s hitting .365 with 13 homers.
Hamilton explained to Caplan that doctors have told him having blue eyes and sweating a lot are to blame for his afternoon struggles, but that seems only semi-plausible given that plenty of other blue-eyed hitters sweat a lot and don’t see their production plummet in day games. For his career Hamilton has hit .335 with a .980 OPS at night compared to just .235 with a .717 OPS during the day.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.