Remember how I mentioned earlier that Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot were likely the favorites to share playing time at second base now that Freddy Sanchez is expected to begin the season on disabled list? Apparently not.
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Giants are telling teams that they are shopping both Theriot and Fontenot. It’s not clear who may have interest, but Stark mentions the Braves and Phillies as potential fits.
Why are the Giants so willing to trade these guys? Good question. Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com was told today by a source that Emmanuel Burriss would be the Opening Day second baseman if the Giants had to choose right now.
Burriss, who is out of options this spring, is batting .436 (17-for-39) with five doubles, one triple, two RBI and five stolen bases during Cactus League action. However, the 27-year-old infieler owns a pretty lousy .250/.311/.281 batting line and a .592 OPS over 651 plate appearances in the major leagues.
Theriot is set to earn $1.25 million this season while Fontenot will make $1.05 million, but their contracts are non-guaranteed. The Giants will surely try to find a suitor over the next few days, but as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle noted yesterday, they have the option to release either of them by March 29 and recoup three-quarters of their salary for 2012.
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
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As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.
After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.