After finishing dead last among AL teams in scoring this season the White Sox fired hitting coach Jeff Manto and now they’ve settled on a replacement, with Scott Merkin of MLB.com reporting that it’ll be A’s minor league hitting coordinator Todd Steverson.
Steverson played briefly in the majors during the mid-90s and has lots of coaching experience in the minors and majors, including managing at Triple-A where he won the Pacific Coast League title in 2008.
There isn’t a ton of high-upside hitting talent on the White Sox’s roster at the moment, but Steverson will get to work with $68 million Cuban first baseman/slugger Jose Abreu.
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.