I think a lot of the baseball world has gotten a jump start on their holiday weekend so there isn’t much news a-happenin’. There are a couple of games going down, however, one of which — Reds at Cubs — I have on while I’m working.
Fun development a few minutes ago: Ryan Dempster walked Johnny Gomes and Jay Bruce, and then the bases were loaded due to an error by Mike Fontenot. That brought up the pitcher, Bronson Arroyo. Dempster walked him on four straight pitches.
The pitcher. On four straight. I mean, sure, Arroyo has a little bit of pop in his bat for a pitcher, but how do you not throw that guy 75-percenters right down the pike and make him put the ball in play? If anyone wonders why Lou Piniella lookes half-dazed all the time, this is the reason why.
Dempster was just pulled after giving up five runs on only two hits. He struck out nine dudes, though, so it was a very LaLooshian performance. On some weird level I found his scuffling, off-kilter performance quite comforting as background noise on what has turned out to be a bit of a scuffling, off-kilter day.
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.