Jim Leyland planned to rest Phil Coke last night, which may have opened the door for Jose Valverde to close out a series-ending win for the Tigers, but instead the game was rained out and now Coke is available for today’s Game 4.
However, when asked who he’ll turn to if the Tigers have a ninth-inning lead to protect Leyland said only that “everyone is available today” and “we’ll play it by ear.”
That could mean a lot of things, including a matchup-based closer-by-committee situation, but one thing it seemingly doesn’t mean is that Jose Valverde has regained the job he held for the past three seasons while converting 110 saves.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!