Jeff Clement has gone from No. 3 overall pick and top-rated prospect to bust and Triple-A veteran, but rather than make a fresh start somewhere else the 28-year-old first baseman has re-signed with the Pirates on a minor-league contract.
Once upon a time Clement looked like a future star as a power-hitting catcher, but his defensive weaknesses forced a move to first base and his bat simply never developed as expected.
He’s hit just .223 with 14 homers and a .664 OPS in 129 games as a big leaguer and even his Triple-A numbers aren’t anything special, with a .282 batting average and .859 OPS in 423 games.
Clement will get an invitation to spring training, but don’t count on him winning even a bench job. He missed most of this past season with a knee injury and the Pirates already have more than enough first base depth after trading for Casey McGehee to go along with Garrett Jones.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: