Edgar Renteria is leaning toward retirement at age 35

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Two weeks ago Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that Edgar Renteria planned to play this season, but that is apparently no longer the case.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com spoke to Renteria’s agent and writes that the 35-year-old “does not plan to play this season and is leaning toward retirement.”

His lack of job options no doubt played a part, as Renteria is no longer a capable shortstop defensively and hit just .251 with a .306 on-base percentage and .348 slugging percentage in 96 games for the Reds last season. According to his agent two NL teams offered a minor-league deal, but Renteria passed and will instead wait a while to see if he changes his mind.

He once looked like a darkhorse candidate for 3,000 career hits, but Renteria ceased being an effective everyday player at age 30. That season, 2007, he batted .332 for the Braves and already had 1,934 hits, but since then he’s played 430 games spread over four seasons while batting just .261 with a .672 OPS.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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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.