James Wagner of the Washington Post talks about a really important issue that doesn’t get much mention: baseball and skin cancer. Players, coaches and scouts are outside in the sun an awful lot and, as such, skin cancer is a major risk. Wagner talks with a number of baseball men who are skin cancer survivors and who talk about the precautions they take.
As Wagner notes, Major League Baseball is pretty proactive about prevention these days. Whenever you walk into a clubhouse one of the first things you notice is that there is sunscreen everywhere. In spring training you can’t walk around in the morning without seeing guys applying and reapplying sunscreen before heading out onto the fields. Baseball also partners with dermatologists for annual skin cancer checks. It’s a good thing.
As a fair complected person with no hair and many family members who have had skin cancer, I try to do my best to always wear a cap when I’m outside. But even I’m sometimes lax on the sunscreen and I know how easy it is to just overlook it. I see people at ballparks — or out running or doing yardwork or whatever — with no shirts on. I feel like, in general, people are just not very good with this. We should get better.
Good for Wagner for reminding us of this and for ballplayers for setting a good example we should all strive to follow.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.