Mark DeRosa: my wrist surgery was "a total failure"

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Mark DeRosa swing.jpgMark DeRosa has numbness in the ring and pinky fingers of his left hand, preventing
him from swinging the bat effectively.  “I feel like my bottom hand’s underwater. I don’t have much feeling in
my bottom two fingers,” he says.

This is bad enough as it is, but what makes it worse is that this sort of thing was supposed to have been corrected by the offseason surgery he had. Now he’s calling that surgery a “total failure,” and he’s considering having another surgery because he simply can’t hit the ball.  Attention Mark DeRosa’s surgeon: put your insurance carrier on notice.

But I’m less interested in the specifics of DeRosa’s wrist injury as I am in his anecdote about how it’s affecting him:

DeRosa last played Saturday, when he went 0-for-5 at New York and didn’t
hit the ball out of the infield in three at-bats against Mets starter
Johan Santana.

“It came to a full head in my second at-bat,” DeRosa recalled.
“[Santana’s] throwing 88, 89 [mph] and I was sitting on a middle-in
fastball. It was there on a tee. I went to move on it. When it came out
of his hand, I [said], ‘This is a bare minimum double to left-center.’
The next thing I know, it’s a weak popup to second base.”

What does it say about Santana’s velocity that his pitches are being referred to as being “there on a tee” by a middlin’-at-best super utility guy?

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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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.