It turns out sometimes a ballplayer getting into The Best Shape Of His Life isn’t such a good thing, as Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes about Josh Hamilton:
Last offseason, he started a natural-juice diet–or “lifestyle change,” as he calls it–and entered at an estimated 227 pounds, roughly 20 pounds lighter than normal. For next year, he’s scrapping that. His goal is to enter at his traditional 245 pounds again.
“I’m going to try to put some weight on, but do it the right way–by doing a lot of the things I’m doing now, but adding more calories, things like that,” Hamilton said. “Because this year, I haven’t been weaker than I have–I’m just as strong in the weight room as I’ve ever been–but I think there’s something to say about having a little extra butt on you.”
“There’s something to say about having a little extra butt on you” is a pretty good motto, just for life in general. And oddly enough, on my podcast this week we spent a solid 15 minutes discussing the all-time best butts in Twins history.
Incidentally, while his overall numbers are awful and the Angels are no doubt regretting his $125 million contract in a huge way, Hamilton has hit .329 with five homers and a .916 OPS in his last 40 games.
Jon Morosi reports that the Mariners and the Marlins are “fairly close” on a trade that would send reliever David Phelps to Seattle. Earlier Ken Rosenthal and others reported that the sides were talking, but that a deal was not imminent.
Phelps, 30, had a fantastic 2016 season, posting a 2.28 ERA in 64 games while striking out 11.8 batters per nine innings. He’s not been as strong this year, but he’s still been a solid setup man, posting a 3.45 ERA in 44 games while striking out 51 batters and walking 21 in 47 innings. He throws in the mid-90s and induces grounders. Basically everything you want in a reliever, right?
The Mariners could probably use rotation help more than bullpen help, but solid innings are solid innings at one point and improving your pen takes some of the pressure off of your rotation.
Corey Sager homered in the Dodgers’ win over the White Sox last night. It was his 45th career homer, 44 of which have come while playing shortstop. While that’s great given that the guy has only played in 270 games, it’s not a lot of homers in an absolute sense. Thousands of players have more homers than that, obviously. Baseball has been around for a long time!
But it’s enough to set a record. A Los Angeles Dodgers record, specifically, for the most homers from a shortstop. It puts Seager past Rafael Furcal, who hit 43 while wearing Dodger blue. The record for the franchise, including Brooklyn, is Pee Wee Reese, who hit 122.
It seems astounding that no other Dodgers shortstop has hit more than 44 homers in the nearly 60 years since the club has been in Los Angeles, but it’s true. If you had asked me before I saw the factoid mentioned on Twitter I would’ve bet my life that Bill Russell would’ve had more. Not because he had any power — he was, in fact, one of the more punchless players of his era — but because he simply played in L.A. so long, logging 1,746 games at short for Walt Alston and Tommy Lasorda. Nope. He only hit 46 in his 18-year career, with a handful of those coming as an outfielder. His season high is seven. Seager has hit seven homers in May of his rookie season.
Oh well, you learn something new every day.