There are many analytically-savvy players out there these days, but few are probably as dedicated and capable as Pirates utilityman Cole Figueroa. As Travis Sawchick of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes in an interesting profile, the son of an old-school former big leaguer incorporates math and coding into his personal regimen — and isn’t afraid to share his knowledge with his teammates. It’s a great piece and well worth a read.
Here’s more from the game’s central divisions:
- Pirates shortstop Gift Ngoepe is impressing in camp thus far and has a realistic hope of becoming the first black South African to crack the majors after being added to the 40-man over the winter, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. The defensive specialist has moved from switch-hitting to focusing on hitting from his natural right side, with improved results. He’s in competition, along with Figueroa and others, to win a utility job.
- ESPN.com’s Mark Saxon looks at the Cardinals’ decision on shortstop Ruben Tejada, whom the Mets just placed on waivers. It appears that St. Louis is more likely to make a play for Tejada if he clears waivers than it is to claim him, though, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.
- The Brewers’ offseason of change was a product of “trying to aggregate as much young talent as we possibly can,” GM David Stearns tells Tom Haudricourt in a piece for Baseball America. “A lot of them were minor moves that didn’t make headlines, but the end result was that half of our 40-man roster will look different from the last day of the season,” said Stearns. “It’s a byproduct of the cycle we’re going through.” The newly-minted head Milwaukee baseball man suggested that such turnover may or may not continue moving forward, explaining that, “sometimes it takes a jump-start like this to get younger and more flexible on your roster.”