Despite previous reports about his impending retirement Jorge Posada has not made an official announcement that he’s calling it quits, but the longtime Yankees catcher told Adam Berry of MLB.com that he’s “not getting prepared for another season, that’s for sure.”
Posada added that he “tried” to get ready to play in 2012 but “it’s not in me … more and more days started going by, and nothing’s going in the right direction.”
So why hasn’t he made things official yet? Posada said that he plans to talk things over with his family in order to be certain he’s making the right decision and will likely have an announcement in a couple weeks.
Posada struggled last season, hitting just .235 with a .714 OPS in 115 games while transitioning from catcher to designated hitter, but it’s worth noting that the 39-year-old switch-hitter batted .269 with an .814 OPS versus right-handed pitching. His brutal 6-for-65 (.069) mark versus lefties dragged his overall numbers down, but Posada remained plenty effective against righties.
Five years from now he’ll be an interesting Hall of Fame case, because voters tend to underrate catchers and Posada’s counting stats were likely hurt by getting a late start in the majors. Among all catchers with at least 5,000 plate appearances his .848 OPS ranks fifth in baseball history, sandwiched between Hall of Famers Gabby Hartnett and Yogi Berra, and even with his poor defense factored in he also ranks 12th all-time in Wins Above Replacement among catchers.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.