I haven’t had MLB Network Radio on this afternoon because I’m too busy listening to the new Vaccines album on my speakers wot go to 11. But apparently something interesting was said about James Loney. From Mel Antonen’s Twitter feed:
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says on MLB Network Radio that James Loney will be at 1B for LA next season. Says 20-25 HRs possible.
OK. Let’s see: James Loney has been in the big leagues for six seasons and the most homers he’s ever hit in a season is 15, back in 2007. Sure. I think 20+ is totally reasonable.
The Dodgers desperately need a slugging first baseman. They’ve taken themselves out of the market for that for various reasons. I suppose they think that if they create unrealistic expectations for Loney, that the team’s inability to produce from first base will be viewed as Loney’s failure rather than the front offices.
It’s not rational. But I suppose that’s what they think.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.