James Wagner of the Washington Post talks about a really important issue that doesn’t get much mention: baseball and skin cancer. Players, coaches and scouts are outside in the sun an awful lot and, as such, skin cancer is a major risk. Wagner talks with a number of baseball men who are skin cancer survivors and who talk about the precautions they take.
As Wagner notes, Major League Baseball is pretty proactive about prevention these days. Whenever you walk into a clubhouse one of the first things you notice is that there is sunscreen everywhere. In spring training you can’t walk around in the morning without seeing guys applying and reapplying sunscreen before heading out onto the fields. Baseball also partners with dermatologists for annual skin cancer checks. It’s a good thing.
As a fair complected person with no hair and many family members who have had skin cancer, I try to do my best to always wear a cap when I’m outside. But even I’m sometimes lax on the sunscreen and I know how easy it is to just overlook it. I see people at ballparks — or out running or doing yardwork or whatever — with no shirts on. I feel like, in general, people are just not very good with this. We should get better.
Good for Wagner for reminding us of this and for ballplayers for setting a good example we should all strive to follow.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.