The Astros confirmed today what we learned a week ago, specifically that Roger Clemens will have an increased role with club’s major league and minor league pitchers in 2013, including spring training and the regular season. This is part of the personal services contract that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to under former Astros owner Drayton McLane.
On the heels of today’s announcement, Clemens sat down with Steve Bunin of CSNHouston.com for an exclusive interview which touched on a wide range of topics, including his thoughts on receiving just 36.7 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. Check it out below.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.