Sometimes the world is just too perfect. I mean, it really sucks for Alex Guerrero, but for the rest of us it’s pretty perfect. I’m talking about this interview — pointed out to the English-speaking baseball world by Eric Stephen of True Blue LA — in which catcher/cannibal Miguel Olivo said that if he weren’t a baseball player that he would’ve been a boxer. “Like Mike Tyson, but without the ear biting.”
There are no accidents, people.
In other news, the Dodgers have suspended Olivo pending an investigation of the ear-biting thing. Which, OK, investigate all you’d like but I’m pretty sure he bit a part of Alex Guerrero’s ear off and that that was bad. Why you don’t just release the journeyman catcher on veteran minimum deal for assaulting/eating your prize infield prospect I’m not sure.
But then again, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti did say the other night that Olivo’s attack of Guerrero was “not constructive,” — yes, he really said that — so I sorta feel like maybe they haven’t really grokked the seriousness of it all. Not preparing for a meeting is “not constructive.” Biting someone’s ear off is something . . . more.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.