Willie Bloomquist just announced his retirement via Twitter, calling it a career after 14 seasons in the majors for the Mariners, Diamondbacks, Royals, and Reds.
Bloomquist was Seattle’s third-round draft pick in 1999 and reached the big leagues in 2002 as a 24-year-old. He never received 500 plate appearances in a season and topped 350 plate appearances just twice, but stuck around because of his defensive versatility, speed, and likability in the clubhouse. And once in a while he even hit a little bit, batting .269 with a .658 OPS in 1,055 games overall.
Bloomquist started at least 15 games and logged at least 200 innings at every position except catcher, but was primarily a shortstop. He earned more than $17 million and the Washington native played the bulk of his career for Seattle.
Veteran southpaw specialist Randy Choate has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays.
Choate is 40 years and has always been strictly used for one or two left-handed batters at a time, but if Toronto is willing to devote a roster spot to a pitcher who might only throw 25-30 innings all season he’s death on lefties.
Last season Choate appeared in 71 games and logged just 27.1 innings for the Cardinals. He’s spent 15 seasons in the majors, but has topped 40 innings just three times and has never thrown more than 51 innings. So why do teams keep wanting Choate in their bullpen? Because he’s held lefties to a .195 batting average for his career.
Sidelined early in camp by a triceps injury and then later by bronchitis, Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez felt good enough to throw a 30-pitch simulated game today and reported no problems.
According to Jason Beck of MLB.com Sanchez threw fastballs and breaking balls in front of the Tigers’ brass, including manager Brad Ausmus and general manager Al Avila.
Sanchez said he’s still feeling under the weather, but his elbow is much better and “five days from now, I’m going to be on the mound.” Whether that will be in a big-league game or against minor leaguers remains to be seen, but Sanchez is back on track for Opening Day.