Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an interesting note about Corey Hart, who had a career-year in 2010 while everyone thought he was wearing contact lenses the Brewers recommended when a spring training physical exam revealed near-sightedness.
However, after struggling to adjust to the contacts so much that he was worried about being released Hart says he “threw them away after spring training” and “never wore the contacts after the season started.”
Not following the team’s recommendation after back-to-back disappointing seasons is an easy way to get in the doghouse, but Hart made that a moot point by hitting .283 with a career-high 31 homers and 102 RBIs, boosting his OPS by 112 points. And in August he signed a three-year, $26.5 million contract extension.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.