Among other duties Johnny Narron has served as Josh Hamilton’s “accountability partner” since 2009, but he left the team last month to become the Brewers’ new hitting coach and now the Rangers are searching for a new person to keep the former MVP in line on the road.
“We’re working on it,” Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. “I’m sure you’ll hear more in the next few days.”
As for what exactly an “accountability partner” entails, Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPN Dallas offered some details in a column earlier this month:
Hamilton is a 30-year-old man with a wife and four kids. Ultimately, he’s responsible for his own actions. But anyone who has ever been an addict or alcoholic, or had an addict or alcoholic in their immediate family, knows staying clean requires more than good intentions or catchy slogans like, “Just say no.”
Narron helped keep Hamilton’s mind right when he was in a slump. Or a funk. He was the guy in the adjoining hotel room on the road that Hamilton could talk to when the slugger wanted to discuss God’s plan for his life at 2 a.m. Or when the devil urged Hamilton to take a drink or use drugs.
It won’t make as many headlines as a new closer or even a backup infielder, but finding a new “accountability partner” for Hamilton could be the most important addition of the Rangers’ offseason.
Indians rookie outfielder Bradley Zimmer entered Thursday’s doubleheader against the Twins hitless in the month of August. Having appeared in 13 games, he failed to get a hit in 39 trips to the plate. He knocked in just one run, scored twice, and drew five walks with 16 strikeouts.
It looked like the streak might continue, as Zimmer struck out twice, bunted into an out, and reached on a fielder’s choice in his first four at-bats. Fortunately, he got to face Glen Perkins in the ninth inning. Perkins hadn’t pitched in a major league game since April 10, 2016. Zimmer grounded a single to right field, ending his 0-for-August skid which had reached 43 plate appearances and 36 at-bats.
On the season, Zimmer is batting .245/.316/.400 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, 33 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 275 PA.
The Twins announced, prior to the start of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Indians (the first game of a double-header), that reliever Glen Perkins was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Perkins had been sidelined since April 2016, recovering from left labrum surgery.
From 2013-15, Perkins served as the Twins’ closer, recording 102 saves with a 3.08 ERA. He appeared in only two games last season before going down with the injury.
Perkins appeared in the ninth inning of the first game Thursday with the Twins trailing 7-3. It did not go well. He gave up two runs on two hits, one walk, and two hit batsmen before being lifted. Alan Busenitz came in and induced an inning-ending double play from Francisco Lindor.
The Twins will likely ease Perkins back by continuing to use him in lower-leverage situations. Perkins has a club option worth $6.5 million for 2018 with a $700,000 buyout. The Twins picking up that option likely hinges on how Perkins fares down the stretch.