You can add another name to the growing list …
David Freese reported to spring training Saturday with a new physique and a quiet confidence.
The former is the result of a strength-and-conditioning program that helped the Angels third baseman “redistribute” the 220 pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame, adding muscle and losing fat.
“I can’t explain it,” Freese told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. “I just know that now, things are different. I’m excited to be back here and to get to work. I’m glad I’m an Angel. They’re going to be glad I’m still an Angel. I’m confident of that.”
Freese, 31, batted just .260/.321/.383 in his first season with Anaheim. He is entering a contract year.
The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.
Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.
Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.