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.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.