National sportswriter says … Dustin Pedroia is your AL MVP thus far

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From the man who picked the Philadelphia Phillies to finish ahead of the Braves and the Kansas City Royals over the Tigers, we get this:

 

We don’t know his reasoning yet. When questioned on Twitter he played coy, so I assume a column is forthcoming.

It’s not as crazy as the Phillis pick I suppose — Pedroia has considerable defensive value and, at present, is third in the American League in WAR if you’e into that sort of thing — but it definitely is an offbeat choice what with Miguel Cabrera, Manny Machado and Chris Davis walking the Earth.

And people say I like to troll on Twitter.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.