Teams have been pitching around Albert Pujols to get to Josh Hamilton, so the Angels have dropped Hamilton to No. 5 in the lineup tonight after using him in the cleanup spot for each of the first 17 games.
That could be partly due to facing a left-hander in Derek Holland, but if Hamilton were hitting well the handedness of the pitcher probably wouldn’t be much of a factor. Instead he’s just 12-for-68 (.176) with 23 strikeouts and a .570 OPS, and manager Mike Scioscia prefers Mike Trumbo behind Pujols.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
As the D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.