Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas are in The Best Shape of Their Lives

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A rare twofer on the BSOHL beat.  From the mouth of Ned Yost in Bob Dutton’s notes column from yesterday’s KC Star, talking about how a ton of guys are already in Royals camp despite it still being ten days from the mandatory reporting date:

“There are a ton of position players here, too. Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas — I’m extremely proud of both of those guys. They are in the best shape they’ve been in their career. Billy looks great, and I hardly recognized Moose, he looks so good.”

Of course Mike Moustakas is 23 years-old and has a grand total of five professional seasons under his belt, so I would hope he was pretty close to the best shape of his career as it was.  But really, good for him.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.