Despite .922 OPS, Arizona’s Cody Ransom gets the boot

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In a surprising move, the Diamondbacks designated infielder Cody Ransom for assignment on Monday and replaced him with youngster Josh Bell.

Ransom, 36, is pretty much the ultimate journeyman infielder, but he did a great job at the plate in his time for Arizona, hitting .269/.345/.577 with four homers and 13 RBI in 52 at-bats. Of course, he had cooled off recently, going 1-for-15 over the last 13 days.

Bell had been red-hot in Triple-A since being picked up from the Orioles, hitting .381/.429/.619 in 97 at-bats, so it’s not surprising that the Diamondbacks wanted to give him a look. Still, it just doesn’t seem fair that they jettisoned Ransom to do it. Besides Chris Young, Ransom had the highest OPS of anyone on the team.

Ransom’s hot streak and major league-minimum salary should get him a look elsewhere now that Arizona is done with him. Just in the NL West alone, the Dodgers, Giants and Padres could all use infield help.

Marcus Stroman: José Bautista could ‘easily’ pitch in MLB bullpen

José Bautista and Marcus Stroman
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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.