Dirk Hayhurst does what he does best today, and that’s to tell us how the vast majority of minor leaguers live. As in: on a shoestring, with a long, long road between where they are on draft day and when they get to the big leagues. If they get to the big leagues.
Today it’s the dos and don’ts for the new draftee. As in: don’t buy a fancy car with your signing bonus, don’t go around talking about your college days, make sure you get an agent and things like that. The agent bit is one a lot of people aren’t aware of. We all think of them as taking a cut of a big league contract, but most of the time these guys spend all of their time more or less playing nurse maid to minor leaguers. As Hayhurst explains:
Yes, they’ll take their cut if you sign a big contract, but most of the time they’ll be sending you new spikes, fresh bats, new sports underwear, and even a pair of trendy sunglasses if you can make a strong enough argument for why you need them. By the time they get their percent of you (if they get their percent of you) it will be like paying them back, not letting them suck you dry.
I once went to an evening college football game with a fairly well-known agent who has big time clients. He spent most of the second half of the game texting various minor leaguers in his stable, seeing how their games went, how they were doing that day, did they need any equipment, etc. etc. This wasn’t altruism — he’s hoping that if he takes care of these guys that they’ll stick with him if and when they sign that $75 million deal — but make no mistake, it’s work.
Anyway, this is a good piece from Hayhurst. And yes, it’s in slide show format, but don’t let that deter you. The explanations under each slide are lengthy and substantive so it’s not like it’s mere click bait. It’s quite interesting and informative, actually.
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.