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Comebacks Newsbeat

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

MLB free agent Jose Bautista shows off his pitching form in continued attempt to come back as two-wa

Six-time MLB All-Star and free agent Jose Bautista hasn’t appeared in a major-league game since 2018, but he may return with an added dimension to his game. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Bautista spent the winter working out as a pitcher and there’s now a video showing his progress. 

Marcus Stroman, Bautista’s Toronto Blue Jays teammate from 2014-17, posted a video to Twitter of Bautista tossing a slider in his front yard. In the caption, Stroman wrote Bautista could “easily” pitch in a major-league bullpen, adding his sinker, slider and changeup are “MLB ready.” 

Bautista’s hoping to become one of the few true two-way players in the MLB. To qualify, Bautista must pitch 20 major-league innings and play at least 20 games as a position player or designated hitter (with at least three plate appearances per game). The two-way player designation would allow Bautista to serve as a pitcher without taking one of the position’s 13 allotted spots.

A position player his entire 15-year career, it’s fair to wonder whether Bautista can maintain his arm over a full season. And in response to Stroman’s clip of Bautista, a fan asked if he’s capable of pitching 50 games out of the bullpen.

Well, this would certainly be something of interest to see…..

QLE Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, jose bautista, marcus stroman, two-way players

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

30 players hoping to have comeback seasons

On Sunday, I mentioned that Braves pitcher Félix Hernández was having a great spring showing before Coronavirus (COVID-19) caused sports — and most of our regular lives — to come to a grinding halt. The veteran, in four Grapefruit League appearances, limited the opposition to three runs on 13 hits and five walks with 14 strikeouts across 13 2/3 innings.

Hernández is certainly not the only player who was bidding for a turnaround 2020 season. I went through each team’s roster and highlighted one player hoping to do the same.

Angels – SP Dylan Bundy

For Bundy, he’s looking to finally live up to the hype he generated seven years ago as one of baseball’s premier prospects in the Orioles’ system. Prior to the 2013 season, both Baseball America and MLB.com ranked him as the No. 2 prospect across baseball. Baseball Prospectus put him at No. 4. Unfortunately, Bundy has only mustered a 4.67 ERA across 103 starts and 24 relief appearances in the majors. Now with the Angels following a December trade that sent four minor leaguers to Baltimore, Bundy is looking for a career turnaround.

 

QLE Posted: March 18, 2020 at 12:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks

Monday, March 16, 2020

Félix Hernández may have been on his way to a comeback season

Everyone has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and precautions taken to combat it: stadium workers, grounds crew, fans, coaches, and of course, the players. Minor league players won’t get paid for a while longer. Coaches have no one to coach. Fans have nothing to watch. It’s a tough time for us all.

On the lighter side of things, it is interesting to think what might have been — and, technically, what still could be — for certain players. Félix Hernández is one of those players who stands out to me. A Mariners legend, the soon-to-be 34-year-old has had it rough over the last three years, battling injuries and ineffectiveness. Since the start of the 2017 season, Hernández went 15-27 with a 5.42 ERA and a 260/110 K/BB ratio over 314 innings. He was a shadow of who he used to be: the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner with three other runner-up finishes.

 

QLE Posted: March 16, 2020 at 12:46 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, felix hernandez

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Jose Bautista Eyeing Return As Two-Way Player

It’s been more than three months since Jose Bautista made it known that he had no plans to officially retire. There’s been virtually nothing mentioned about him since that time, but ESPN’s Jeff Passan now reports that the 39-year-old Bautista has been working out as a pitcher this winter in hopes of a return as a two-way player. Bautista plans to play for the Dominican Republic in this month’s Olympic qualifier tournament, though he might not pitch in that setting.

Bautista’s accomplishments at the plate are well known, of course. He emerged from journeyman prospect status to Blue Jays stalwart and feared All-Star slugger with a 2010 season that saw him rip a league-leading 54 homers. That kicked off a run of six straight All-Star appearances and helped to bring about the “Joey Bats” moniker that followed him throughout his career. From 2010-16, Bautista raked at a .264/.387/.542 clip, averaging 36 homers per season. His 2015 ALDS bat flip after a go-ahead, three-run homer against the Rangers stands out as one of the more iconic moments in Blue Jays franchise history.

All that said, Bautista’s production dipped sharply as he entered his late 30s. A 2017 return to the Blue Jays on a one-year, free-agent deal didn’t prove fruitful, and a followup effort split between the Braves, Mets and Phillies was better but not particularly encouraging. In a combined 1085 plate appearances between those two seasons, Bautista batted .203/.323/.371. He did not sign with a club last winter and sat out the 2019 season.

Deeply skeptical, but, on the other hand, it’s not like his career has followed normal trajectories so far….

 

QLE Posted: March 03, 2020 at 12:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, jose bautista, two-way players

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Royals’ Pérez catches for 1st time since Tommy John surgery.

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Salvador Pérez was back behind the plate for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

The six-time All-Star caught the first four innings of the Kansas City Royals’ 3-1 loss to a San Francisco split squad on Friday.

“I was super-excited to be back behind the home plate,” Pérez said. “I feel great. I feel good. I wasn’t nervous.”

A five-time Gold Glove winner, the 29-year-old had not caught in a game since Sept. 26, 2018.

 

QLE Posted: February 29, 2020 at 01:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, comebacks, salvador perez, tommy john surgery

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

‘The wall won’ _ Kemp tries to revive career with Marlins

MIAMI (AP) — Fans of The Clash, The Bobby Fuller Four and the Cincinnati Reds can agree Matt Kemp had the quote of the year after he broke a rib chasing a flyball last April.

“I fought the wall, and the wall won,” Kemp said.

He broke a rib and missed the final five months of the season. Now, at 35, the three-time All-Star outfielder is mounting a comeback with the Miami Marlins.

Kemp waves off the idea Miami is where great outfielder careers come to die. Three-time All-Star Curtis Granderson batted .183 with the Marlins in his final season last year. Seven-time major league hits leader Ichiro Suzuki hit .256 in his final three full seasons with Miami in 2015-17.

Pete Reiser scoffs at one encounter with a wall…..

 

QLE Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:04 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, hitting the wall, matt kemp

Saturday, February 22, 2020

MLB Rumors: Ex-Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard joins Rockies amid comeback attempt

Daniel Bard’s comeback dream might become a reality.

The former Boston Red Sox pitcher has signed a minor-league contract with the Colorado Rockies, The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders reported Friday.

Bard was a Red Sox first-round draft pick in 2006 and spent four seasons with Boston from 2009 to 2013. The hard-throwing right-hander posted a 1.93 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 2010 and appeared to be in line to succeed Jonathan Papelbon as the Red Sox’ closer.

 

QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:42 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, daniel bard, rockies

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Scott Kazmir Launches Comeback Attempt

Three full seasons have elapsed since Scott Kazmir pitched in a Major League game, but the veteran left-hander is set to launch another comeback attempt at 36 years of age. Kazmir recently tweeted a video of himself throwing in a bullpen session, and the former Rays, Indians, Angels, A’s and Dodgers southpaw confirmed to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he hopes to return to the big leagues in 2020.

Kazmir, who’s open to a minor league contract and a chance to prove himself in Spring Training (as he’d need to be after such a lengthy absence), tells Topkin he’s still in the process of rebuilding his arm strength and fastball velocity. He’s worked out with Driveline this winter and recently topped out at 90.9 mph in a bullpen session. That’s already a far sight higher than the 86 mph at which his heater sat when he first began throwing with an eye toward a big league return. Kazmir’s fastball sat at 91.4 mph in his final season with the Dodgers in 2016, so he’s not quite yet even topping out at his previous fastball average. However, he also has nearly two months before the season would begin.

This, of course, wouldn’t be the first comeback attempt for Kazmir. The former Rays ace saw a sharp decline in 2009-10, pitched just 1 2/3 innings in 2011 and was out of affiliated baseball entirely in 2012 before embarking on a similar journey. That career renaissance proved quite fruitful, as Kazmir parlayed a minor league deal with the Indians into a quality 2013 campaign in which he tossed 158 innings of 4.04 ERA ball with better than a strikeout per inning.

Well, I suppose that we can call it a comeback…..

 

QLE Posted: January 30, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, scott kazmir

 

 

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