The Giants and the Brewers played in the Cactus League today and, against all odds, something (kinda) meaningful happened:
In the first inning of today’s Cactus League game against the Milwaukee
Brewers, Zito hit Prince Fielder in the back with his first pitch in
apparent retaliation for Fielder’s staged “bowling pin” celebration
after his homer ended a Sept. 6 game in Milwaukee.
You remember that one, don’t you:
I’m fiercely opposed to guys throwing at one another out of b.s. like honor and adherence to the so-called unwritten rules, but that was really, really bush league by the Brewers and I probably would have plunked someone over it too.
And besides, Barry Zito’s fastball is in no danger of hurting anyone over the age of 6, so it’s all good.
UPDATE: Prince Fielder’s comments after the game:
Anthony Witrado of the Journal-Sentinel asked Fielder if the celebration was worth the ball in the back.
“Hell yeah,” Fielder said. “That’s something I did with me and my teammates. It has nothing to do with them.”
“You’re damn right it was worth it.”
I hated the celebration, but I like that he’s at least owning it, ya know?
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.