Wladimir Balentien gets in trouble for in-game tweeting

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Former Mariner and Red Wladimir Balentien has 12 homers in only 45 games for the Yakult Swallows. But after a fast start that gave him those power numbers, he has slumped, going homerless in 50 straight at bats and seeing his average drop over a 100 points.

So he tweeted about it, the other night. He just picked a bad time to do it:

Former major league baseballer Wladimir Balentien has been warned by his Japanese team the Yakult Swallows for updating his twitter account during a 10-0 loss.

Balentien, who has been in the midst of a prolonged slump, tweeted “I will never give up” just before the end of Monday’s 10-0 loss to the Seibu Lions. He was sent to Yakult’s minor league team on Tuesday.

It’s unclear if the demotion was due to the tweeting or the slumping. But either way, not the kind of thing that flies in the NPB I imagine.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.