Add another name to the list, from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Cardinals righthander Lance Lynn, who was challenged and helped by the club to improve his fitness level during the offseason, arrived at the team’s complex Friday with a tightened haircut, no beard, and a significantly slimmed-down frame. Teammates joked they didn’t recognize him. …
Lynn declined to go into the exact details of his lean look, suggesting first that he dropped about 20 pounds from the weight he came to spring training in a year ago. He gained more weight during the season, and that did contribute to his struggles in August and inconsistency later.
Goold actually mentions BSOHL in the article, noting: “Lynn knows how that description is often met with a smirk. So, he didn’t say it.”
Self-awareness really ruins all the fun.
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!