I thought that Jim Leyland’s claim that Miguel Cabrera was in the best shape of his life was the final nail in the coffin of my favorite spring training cliche. It seems, however, that Russell Martin is truly the man who took the BSOML meme out back and beat it to death with a large club.
Why? Because as Sam Miller of the OC Register notes, Martin has claimed, in one way or another, to be in the best shape of his life for four years running. But click through for the graphs Sam added and you realize that it may very well be that getting in shape is the worst thing that ever happened to Martin. Either that or he has used BSOML to mask quickly eroding baseball skills.
Naw, no one would ever do that, would they?
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.