Ichiro made a sick catch yesterday

Leave a comment

MLB.com won’t let me (or anyone else) embed video, so you have to check it out here.  Definitely worth your click-through, though. The catch is being compared to Willie Mays over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series. Two differences from what I can see:

1. Willie Mays’ catch was only half of what made that play amazing. The throw which followed it — which kept Larry Doby at third base despite the fact that Wertz’s ball was hit approximately a gajillion feet — was just as impressive; and

2. Mays didn’t do a fancy little hop right before catching the ball.  If he had, we’d probably view his legacy in a whole new light.

Not that I’m taking away from Ichiro. That was a great catch.  Real baseball is almost here, my brothers and sisters.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.