Neither Nick Swisher nor Grady Sizemore ever retired. They just . . . stopped being signed by teams and given a chance to play. Now, despite, the lack of an official announcement, both have signaled that they have moved on to the next phase of their careers.
The Yankees have announced that Swisher will be a spring training instructor. He joins A-Rod, Goose Gossage and a cast of the zillion usual former Yankees suspects down in Tampa. I would guess that he’ll talk to young players about how to scare the living hell out of reporters with a positive intensity that goes to 11, bro.
Sizemore, meanwhile, has been hired by the Indians as an advisor for player development. Whether this is a real front office job or if he’ll be the sort of “advisor” who is, in reality, just a spring training instructor remains to be seen.
If, as it seems, this is the end of each of their careers, they go off into the sunset with nothing to be ashamed of. Sizemore finishes with a .265/.349/.457 career batting line and 150 homers over 1,110 games. There was a brief period there, about a decade ago, when he was in the conversation as one of the best players in the game. Injuries, unfortunately, derailed that promise. He last played, with the Rays, in 2015.
Swisher, who also did not play in 2016, was the first round pick of the Oakland A’s in the now-famous 2002 draft featured in “Moneyball.” The second generation big leaguer — son of Cards, Cubs and Padres catcher Steve Swisher — finishes with 245 homers and a line of .249/.351/.447 in 12 seasons. He made the All-Star team once and was a a key part of the World Champion 2009 Yankees.
Good luck with your future endeavors, men.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.