If you’ve been visiting us over the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that the phrase “best shape of his life” has become a meme of sorts. Every winter, there are scores of reports that players — particularly ones coming off of down years — are in the “best shape” of their life. Pablo Sandoval and Kyle Schwarber are recent examples of players being hyped in this respect.
Add Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams to the list. While the exact phrase “best shape of his life” was not used, Brian Stull of WGNU 920AM in St. Louis reports that Adams lost 25 pounds during the offseason. Adams says his swing is “even stronger” and is excited for the 2017 season.
With spring training just over a month away, the 28-year-old Adams is slated to back up Matt Carpenter at first base. It would make sense if the Cardinals pursued trading Adams before the start of the regular season.
Adams finished the 2016 season hitting .249/.309/.471 with 16 home runs and 54 RBI in 327 plate appearances. He missed time during the season with back, shoulder, and wrist injuries.
Earlier, a young fan was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and had to be carried out before being taken to a hospital. Fortunately, it seems that the fan is okay.
As usual, when a scary incident such as today’s occurs, players come out in full support of expanding the protective netting at ballparks. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier as well as Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier and shortstop Didi Gregorius all said as much after Wednesday afternoon’s game.
Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis has also been a very vocal proponent of increased netting. For the most part, the players are pretty much all in agreement about the subject. It’s only a vocal minority of fans who seem to think that their ability to snag a random souvenir or have an unimpeded view supersedes the safety of their neighbors.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton continued his march towards 60 home runs, hitting No. 56 in Wednesday afternoon’s win against the Mets. The Marlins, leading 7-2 prior to Stanton’s two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, didn’t need the extra run support but welcomed it all the same. Mets reliever Erik Goeddel tossed a 1-1, 78 MPH curve that caught too much of the plate.
After Wednesday’s action, Stanton is batting .279/.378/.634 with 120 RBI and 116 runs scored along with the 56 dingers in 646 plate appearances. The last player to hit at least 56 home runs in a season was Ryan Howard (58) in 2006. Stanton’s is the 19th player-season of at least 56 homers.