Jay Buhner was in M’s camp today showing off a new bat he’s helping a Washington-based sporting goods company develop:
It’s a new bat called the Axe, made of maple with a handle that’s shaped like, you guessed it, the handle of an axe . . . The idea, Trudeau said, is based on stories that
Ted Williams would swing an axe in the offeseason to build his swing.
The flatter shape of an axe handle fits the hand better than a
perfectly round bat. Not only that, but the knob is angled such that
Buhner believes hitters won’t suffer problems with hand fatigue or
hamate bone injuries that are more common with a traditional bat.
Makes me miss Skip Caray even more than I do. Such a bat would give a whole new meaning to one of his “Chopper to Chipper” calls.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.