Journeyman first baseman Casey Kotchman has signed a minor-league deal with the Royals after sitting out last season.
Kotchman was the Angels’ first-round pick in 2001 and played 10 seasons in the majors for seven different teams, most recently with the Marlins in 2013.
He’s a good defensive first baseman and controls the strike zone well, but Kotchman lacks power for the position and is a career .260 hitter with a .711 OPS in 939 games.
Kansas City has Eric Hosmer at first base and signed Kendrys Morales for a bunch of money to replace Billy Butler at designated hitter, so there isn’t much room for Kotchman beyond serving as Triple-A depth.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.