Athletics designate Michael Taylor for assignment

12 Comments

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have designated outfielder Michael Taylor for assignment. Sam Fuld, Taylor’s competition for the reserve outfielder job, made the team as a result.

Taylor had a great spring, slashing .274/.348/.532 in 62 at-bats. Fuld was nearly as good, posting a .271/.348/.475 line in 59 at-bats.

Taylor came over to the Athletics in December 2009 from the Blue Jays in the Brett Wallace trade. He has performed well at Triple-A Sacramento over the past four seasons but has had few opportunities to prove himself at the big league level. He’ll likely draw some interest based on his solid spring.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
1 Comment

Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.