We at MLB Trade Rumors extend our condolences to the friends and family of Jimmy Piersall, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 87. Piersall had a memorable 17-year playing career with the Red Sox, Angels, Indians, Senators, and Mets from 1950-67, winning two Gold Gloves and reaching two All-Star Games. After retiring from the field, Piersall had two broadcasting stints calling Rangers and White Sox games, and then worked as an outfield instructor for Cubs minor leaguers. Piersall is also remembered for his openness about his mental health issues, including a seven-week hospitalization after a nervous breakdown in 1952. Piersall covered the topic in his autobiography Fear Strikes Out, which was adapted into an Anthony Perkins film of the same name in 1957.
Some news from around the baseball world…
- It’s still too early for the Rangers to consider themselves deadline sellers, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram opines. Even if they did move some of their stars, Wilson is doubtful that the team would get its desired haul of young talent back for the likes of pending free agents Yu Darvish or Jonathan Lucroy. Trading Adrian Beltre (who is under contract through 2018) also doesn’t seem likely given the veteran third baseman’s pursuit of 3000 hits. Texas is four games out of a wild card spot but that would likely be the club’s only route into the postseason, given how the Astros already have a 13.5-game lead in the AL West.
- Now that Brad Miller is back from the disabled list, the Rays don’t seem to have an everyday role for a player that hit 30 homers last year, the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin writes. Miller has only hit .199/.341/.309 over 167 PA, which isn’t nearly enough thump for the Rays to put up with his subpar defense at second base. Tampa also has several other left-handed bats (Corey Dickerson, Logan Morrison, Colby Rasmus) hitting well and taking up spots at DH, first base and left field.
- Also from Topkin, Rays shortstop Matt Duffy isn’t likely to return until the end of the month or perhaps even the All-Star break as Duffy continues his lengthy recovery from Achilles tendon surgery last September. This will lead to more playing time for Tim Beckham, who Topkin argues has earned regular at-bats in a utility role once Duffy is healthy.