Carlos Pena — Mr. Fantastic — is batting leadoff again

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It was noted yesterday that a first baseman batting leadoff is unusual. But it worked for Carlos Pena and the Rays last night — dude hit a homer — so Joe Maddon is going to put Pena in the leadoff spot again.

Crazy, I know.  But not nearly as crazy as (a) Drew Sutton batting cleanup; and (b) the fact that every Rays player has a superhero nickname:

source:

Will Rhymes, I know Batman. I admire Batman. Batman is a friend of mine. Mr. Rhymes, you’re no Batman.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.