Great moments in base running: New York Yankees edition

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Derek Jeter has 357 career stolen bases and has been successful in attempting to swipe a bag over 78% of the time. That’s good!  Brett Gardner has 180 career stolen bases and has been successful in attempting to swipe a bag over 81% of the time. That’s even better! Two pretty fantastic base runners, there.

Which is why seeing both of them thrown out on a double steal is a pretty fun man-bites-dog story this morning:

Some people say that paying close attention to stats and thinking in terms of probabilities takes the fun out of watching baseball. I say that knowing the stats and probabilities makes one appreciate it all the more when the unexpected happens.

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.