After spending the first six years of his career with the Cubs and the Mets, sure, Angel Pagan is entitled to a little optimism. But I tend to think that this is too much optimism. From John Shea’s story about him in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Angel Pagan prides himself as the Giants‘ new leadoff hitter. The No. 1 man. So allow him to be the first to make a bold statement about the 2012 Giants in the National League West:
“I’m very, very confident that this is the team to beat,” Pagan said.
They only finished eight games behind the Diamondbacks and four back of the wild card-winning Cardinals. And the Diamondbacks had so many things go right last year, so it’s totally possible that the teams are closer. And thus, no, it would not be shocking if the Giants’ pitching made them contenders all year.
But “the team to beat?” Man, I dunno. I’m having trouble going that far with it.
The Yankees signed Adam Lind to a minor league deal this past offseason. Then they released him during spring training. Now they have signed him to another minor league deal. He’ll report to extended spring training where he’ll now try not to get extended released.
Lind is a platoon guy with little defensive value, but he hit .303/.362/.513 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI in 301 plate appearances for the Nationals last season, serving as a pinch-hitter and backup first baseman and outfielder. The injury to Greg Bird and the impending suspension of Tyler Austin — he’s currently on appeal — will likely give him at least some opportunity to show that he’s still a big leaguer.
Which, yeah, he probably still is. Or at least would be if teams didn’t have 13 and 14-man pitching staffs and actually had room for a couple of bench position players. Such is not the current game of baseball, however.