Veteran outfielder Magglio Ordonez is waiting by the phone, hoping a team will call and allow him to continue his major league playing career. But if nobody makes an offer, he has a backup plan.
According to Robert Downs of the Detroit Free Press, Ordonez is “poised to purchase shares” in the Caribes de Anzoátegui, a top winter league organization in the 38-year-old’s native Venezuela.
But Ordonez must wait until he officially files retirement paperwork before taking an active role in the club. Via the Free Press:
“Being the active player I am, I can’t assume any type of position in the Venezuelan league, not as an owner and not as a manager,” Ordoñez said in a recent interview. “But in the future I think so.”
Caribes owner Rafael Gruszka has offered Ordoñez shares of the club, but when he will retire remains to be seen.
Ordonez batted .255/.303/.331 with five home runs and 32 RBI in 92 games last season for Detroit.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.