It’s a slow news day so you can make some time to go read a nice human interest story, right? Of course you do.
The human of interest in this story is Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets. You’re probably aware that Granderson is extraordinarily active in the community. He’s a former Clemente Award winner, of course, and when anyone talks about Granderson they make mention that he’s a thoughtful and charitable guy. But until you read Michael Powell’s profile of him at the New York Times you probably don’t have a sense of the scale of it all. The man does not rest when it comes to giving of himself. And there are few if any 300 homer guys who talk less about their own accomplishments.
A lot of ballplayers get the “good player, better person” treatment, and it all plays well until . . . it doesn’t. But with Granderson it’s been playing like this for over a decade. I’m confident that there’s no one around the game who is spoken of as highly as he is. At a time when it’s easy for a lot of people to feel a bit shaken and at a loss, Granderson’s example is one that gives some hope.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.