Pirates claim Brent Morel off waivers from Blue Jays

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Pittsburgh claimed Brent Morel off waivers after the third baseman was designated for assignment by Toronto.

Morel was the White Sox’s starting third baseman as a 24-year-old rookie in 2011, but hit just .245 with a .653 OPS in 126 games and has played sparingly in the majors since then. Chicago waived him in December after he hit .266 with six homers and a .751 OPS at Triple-A last season.

He’ll compete for a spot on the Pirates’ bench, but seems destined to wind up back in the minors or on the waiver wire again.

The Angels to lower the right field wall

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The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.

The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.

One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.