Jose Canseco is still playing baseball. At least as long as someone pays him an appearance fee to show up. The latest someone: the Texas Winter League, where Canseco went 3-for-20 in six games in three days down in Harlingen, Texas over the weekend.
Adam Lawson of the Valley Morning Star spent a day in the dugout with Canseco and captured the essence of this Lion in Winter. It’s, predictably, not the prettiest sight.
But you know what? It’s at least real. What’s not real these days: Canseco’s once so-bad-it’s-good Twitter account. It used to quite clearly be Canseco writing things that were at turns funny, at turns sad. Now, much of the time, it is pretty clearly given over to writers who are either being paid to make Canseco a “character” or else they’re doing it for him pro bono. Which, frankly, is sadder than his old real stuff about wanting to play baseball again.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.