In the third inning of last night’s Mariners-Angels game, Robinson Cano came to the plate with runners on second and third and two out. Angels manager Mike Scioscia had C.J. Wilson walk Cano to get to Justin Smoak. The result: Smoak cleared the bases with a double.
After the game, C.J. Wilson gave the strong impression that he didn’t agree with the move:
Asked if it was strange to walk a left-handed hitter to pitch to a switch-hitter who would bat from the right side, Wilson said, “Yes … no more questions on that one.”
Platoon advantage aside, I think I’d rather pitch to Smoak than Cano. But I also think intentionally walking just about anyone is akin to fascism, to maybe I’m not the right guy to ask.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.