From Oakland, we learn that Yoenis Cespedes is trying out a new grip when he returns:
Céspedes said Wednesday morning that he no longer will grip the bat with the knob nestled in the palm of his hand. There is thought that holding the knob in the palm might have contributed to the strained hand muscle that put him on the DL this month.
Through interpreter Ariel Prieto, Céspedes said he does not know if gripping the bat that way caused his injury. He always has held the bat with the knob in his palm.
And apparently Pablo Sandoval did too, which some believe is what has contributed to his injuries.
I just find it really weird that anyone swings the bat like that. Seriously, if you have a wooden bat around, try it. It hurts! And I presume people like you and me generate one eight billionth of the force and speed with our swings that a major leaguer can. The palm has to hurt, as does the top wrist, which is taking more of the brunt of things.
Oh well. Learn something new about this game every day.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.
The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.
Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.
Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.
Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.