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Two-way Players Newsbeat

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Angels call up two-way player Jared Walsh

The Los Angeles Angels have purchased the contract of an interesting player from their Triple-A affiliate. His name is Jared Walsh and he’s both a first baseman and a lefty reliever.

Walsh, 25, was batting .302/.398/.604 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI over 37 games for the Salt Lake Bees. He also had a 3.60 ERA in five relief appearances. The pitching has been a bit more of an experiment for Walsh over the years — he’s made only 15 appearances on the mound in three seasons while taking 1,472 trips to the plate — but it’s a fun little wrinkle in his game.

And the parade of relievers to and from the minors gets even stranger….

 

QLE Posted: May 16, 2019 at 04:10 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, jared walsh, two-way players

Friday, February 22, 2019

Reds having Michael Lorenzen prepare as a two-way player

For decades, a legitimate “two-way player” — a player who functions as both a pitcher and as a position player — was nothing but a fantasy. The skill sets required for both are too distinct and require too much prep work, it was thought. The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani shattered that illusion in 2018, posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances as a hitter while posting a 3.31 ERA in 51 2/3 innings as a pitcher.

Since then, several more players have been considered in two-way roles. The Rangers signed Matt Davidson earlier this month and could potentially use him as a corner infielder as well as a reliever. Also earlier this month, James Loney signed with the independent Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, who plan to use him as both a first baseman and as a pitcher.

You can add Michael Lorenzen of the Reds to that list. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds will have Lorenzen prepare this spring as a two-way player. He could both start and relieve while occasionally playing in the outfield. Lorenzen, in fact, took batting practice with the outfielders on Thursday. Previously, he had taken batting practice as extra work following a workout with fellow pitchers.

It’s going to be interesting to see how long this trend lasts- especially given MLB’s current seemingly-insatiable lust for relievers….

 

QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: michael lorenzen, reds, two-way players

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Angels’ Shonei Ohtani has no regrets hitting through year, delaying surgery

TEMPE, Ariz.—Shohei Ohtani tossed his water bottle toward a clubhouse garbage can and missed, instead landing it in a laundry bin. He laughed out loud, smiled big as he so often does, then retrieved the trash and put it in the proper place.

That’s about as close to throwing as the Japanese two-way star is right now.

Ohtani wouldn’t change how he handled his elbow injury late last year, continuing to hit for the Angels until season’s end even if it meant delaying reconstructive surgery and his ability to pitch again until 2020.

Can’t say that I blame him at all, though I suspect that may be contested logic around these parts.

QLE Posted: February 14, 2019 at 05:15 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei ohtani, two-way players

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

James Loney signs to be a two-way player for an independent league team

When last we heard from James Loney he was being released by the Atlanta Braves in May of 2017. That release came, like, five days after they signed him to maybe cover for the then-injured Freddie Freeman. He became expendable when the Braves brain trust decided that Matt Adams would be better at that. He probably was.

Finally, some action on the free agent market!

QLE Posted: February 06, 2019 at 04:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, independent leagues, james loney, two-way players

Saturday, February 02, 2019

The Rangers are trying to turn this free agent into their own version of Shohei Ohtani

Last offseason, the Texas Rangers were among the seven finalists for Japanese two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani. But despite having the most money to offer, Ohtani chose to sign with their division rival Los Angeles Angels.

One year later, the Rangers are trying again to add another two-way player, although this one comes with much less upside: former Chicago White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson, who they reportedly signed to a minor league deal Friday.

Davidson may not be a household name since being a first-round pick in 2009, but he’s shown flashes of potential. Although he crossed the 20-homer mark each of the last two seasons, his lack of defense and high strikeout rate have led to him producing -0.1 WAR.

Something to follow in the years to come- it will be rather interesting to see how many experiments of this nature that we get.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 02, 2019 at 04:09 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: matt davidson, rangers, two-way players

 

 

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