Righty Jason Hammel discussed his transition from the Cubs to the Royals with reporters including Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com. The veteran starter says he wasn’t ready to give up starting at this stage, which may have been in the plans had he remained in Chicago. “I felt like I had proven myself over and over and over again for three years there,” he said. “It is what it is. It’s the business side of baseball. And I’m very happy that I’m over here with these guys.” Whether there’s any sense of bitterness, Hammel says he won’t “hold grudges” or “burn a bridge;” he still owns a home in the city and suggests he could even end up returning at some point later in his career.
- That’s not the only storyline connecting the 2016 champs and their predecessors; there was also a rather notable deal that sent outfielder Jorge Soler to the Royals while delivering star closer Wade Davis to the Cubs. Naturally, the man tasked with harnessing Soler’s evident talent is Dale Sveum — the hitting coach who just happened to have managed the Cubbies before landing in Kansas City. “I still think he’s developing into what he possibly could be,” Sveum said of his new protege. “He’s been very good in camp so far, trying to make adjustments in his legs and things like that, knowing the issues that come with some of the mechanics he’s been using. But like I said, it’s still a development thing. As much as we’d all like to think (otherwise), it’s not a polished product, by no means.”
- Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams is looking to unify several offseason changes this spring, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. He lost weight, worked on building core strength, and re-worked his swing. Bringing these modifications together, and making it all work against MLB-caliber pitching, has been a challenge. But the organization is remaining patient with the lefty slugger, who’s entering a critical year for charting his future with the club.
- It doesn’t appear as if the Reds will pursue a deal with free-agent righty Justin Masterson, as Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer suggests on Twitter. While the organization took a look at the former workhorse recently, it evidently did not see enough promise to add another arm to the spring mix.
- Brewers manager Craig Counsell discussed the status of his team’s bench competition, as Tom Haudricourt and Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report. Hernan Perez appears to have a very strong shot at making the club as a reserve outfield and infield options. Michael Reed, on the other hand, still “has things to prove at the Triple-A level,” according to Counsell.