New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles

Adam Jones to see hand specialist about injured thumb

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The Orioles had Adam Jones on the original lineup card for last night’s game against the Angels, but he was scratched after feeling consistent pain in his ailing right thumb after taking his first swing during batting practice.

Jones hasn’t started a game since last Friday due to the injury. While it has bothered him off and on since May, the pain has intensified over the past week. X-rays on the thumb came back negative, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Jones was scheduled to be examined by a hand specialist last night.

“I’m mad,” Jones said. “But at the end of the day I don’t want to hurt myself or the team and right now I’d be hurting myself and the team.”

“I don’t know exactly what it is,” he said. “It is annoying me and I know I want to be on the field with my teammates.”

Jones, 26, is batting .280/.320/.463 with 23 home runs, 80 RBI, 11 stolen bases and a .783 OPS over 583 plate appearances this season. While he has posted career highs in OPS+ and ISO (Isolated Power), he has ranked below-average defensively in center field for three straight seasons, according to Ultimate Zone Rating. He leads American League center fielders this season with eight errors.

Corey Dickerson has lost 25 pounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Corey Dickerson #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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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.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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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!