The Rockies and visiting teams have tried several run-prevention strategies at Coors Field over the years with little success, though ESPN’s Buster Olney (subscription-only column) suggests a novel idea — what if the Rockies and others used a fourth outfielder? The idea, which stemmed from a chat with Jake Peavy, would be a natural extension of the defensive shifts that have become more common in recent years. Here’s more from around the baseball world…
- Josh Hamilton and Chris Gimenez are both playing games in extended spring training, Rangers manager Jeff Banister told reporters (including MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan). Gimenez could start a rehab assignment as soon as Monday, as the catcher looks to return after being sidelined for a month by an ankle infection. Hamilton faces a longer road back to the bigs, as he’ll play in extended spring games for the next week and then some minor league action. Banister said the Rangers want to see Hamilton get around 35 plate appearances before considering a return to the MLB roster. Hamilton has battled left knee problems all offseason, and has already undergone two operations and a stem cell/PRP injection within the last eight months.
- The Rangers have a solid history of producing good young position players, MLB.com’s Phil Rogers writes, and Nomar Mazara is one of the most exciting of them all. The 20-year-old Mazara has made a huge impact in his first taste of big league action, taking a .378/.419/.514 slash line over 43 PAs into Saturday’s play.
- Melvin Upton is enjoying a good season and could eventually be a trade chip for the Padres, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes as part of a reader chat. San Diego would probably still have to eat some of the roughly $30.18MM owed to Upton through the 2017 season to make a trade work. That would still represent something of a win for the Padres and Upton, as his deal was though to be one of the worst in baseball at this time just a year ago. In two seasons as a Padres, however, Upton has regained some value by hitting .261/.334/.433 with seven homers over 292 PA and he also posted above-average defensive metrics in center field in 2015.
- Albert Abreu would be a much-hyped prospect in most farm systems, but he’s something of a hidden gem within the Astros’ deep minor league organization. Baseball America’s Ben Badler profiles Abreu, a 20-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic who signed a $185K international deal in 2013. Abreu has a 5.11 ERA over 12 1/3 innings at high-A ball this season, though with very impressive peripherals (13.9 K/9, 4.75 K/BB rate, no homers allowed).