Tag: Miguel Olivo

Reds Spring Training Stock Watch: Which Players Are on Fire and Slumping?

The Cincinnati Reds lost a few players to the World Baseball Classic, but some of the remaining have been on fire while others can’t wait for spring to end.

Cincinnati came into the spring as the favorites to win the NL Central, and the team doesn’t have many available spots left on the 25-man roster. 

With that said, the few position battles going on have been put under the microscope. The backup catcher spot is starting to work itself out, but the battle for the utility role has only brought out the best in each candidate.

The Reds had a couple of games get rained out, but they did get to go up against Canada last week.

Less than three weeks remain until Opening Day, so let’s check out who is hot and who is not.


*All stats are courtesy of Reds.com

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Gems: American League

J.J. Hardy, SS Baltimore Orioles (23 percent owned in Yahoo, 37.1 percent ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .288 AVG / 19 R / 6 HR / 19 RBI / 0 SB

Hardy has been a monster the past 14 days hitting .375 AVG, 11 R, four HR, seven RBI. It seems like everyone has forgotten his ’07 and ’08 seasons with the Brewers when he hit .280 AVG, 167 R, 50 HR, 164 RBI. I am writing off last year as a fluke because Target Field is a tough place to call home. Now he is in a park that is very friendly to right-handed hitters.

My Projection: .279 AVG / 80 R / 20 HR / 65 RBI / 2 SB


Michael Brantley, OF Cleveland Indians (49 percent owned in Yahoo, 83 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .293 AVG / 35 R / 5 HR / 26 RBI / 8 SB

You Yahoo people need to get with the program. I don’t know what else this guy has to do to be more universally owned. He is sitting atop a good AL lineup that will continue to score runs, he is taking walks at a decent clip and the batting average should stick. I would like to see him be more active on the base paths because he has shown the ability in the minors and don’t expect 15 home runs.

My Projection: .290 AVG / 100 R / 10 HR / 62 RBI / 29 SB


Corey Patterson, OF Toronto Blue Jays (43 percent owned in Yahoo, 77.8 percent ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .293 AVG / 35 R / 5 HR / 28 RBI / 9 SB

If Brantley isn’t available in your league, hopefully Patterson is because you are getting similar production. He has not consistently hit for high average in his career (.255 career AVG) but it should remain respectable if he continues to hit in front of Bautista and Lind. His .153 ISO is in-line with his career mark of .151 ISO so 15 HR is not out of the question. He has been caught stealing 6 times but the Jays are very aggressive on the bases so he still has the green light.

My Projection: .270 AVG / 85 R / 15 HR / 65 RBI / 30 SB


Mark Trumbo, 1B Los Angeles Angels (34 percent owned in Yahoo, 79.2 percent ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .252 AVG / 23 R / 11 HR / 29 RBI / 6 SB

Mark Trumbo’s Yahoo ownership level baffles me. In the minors last year, he hit .299 AVG with 36 HR and he is showing the same type of power in the majors. This guy is a near lock for 25 HR and the stolen bases are an added bonus. He has been hitting out of the seven spot more often than I would like but he may get an opportunity to move up.

My Projection: 250 AVG / 65 R / 26 HR / 79 RBI / 12 SB


Miguel Olivo, C Seattle Mariners (31 percent owned in Yahoo, 29.2 percent ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .241 AVG / 28 R / 8 HR / 30 RBI / 2 SB

In a year that the catcher position is so thin, Olivo deserves a good look. Seattle may not have the best lineup in the world (or 28th best) but Olivo is batting cleanup or fifth everyday for the Mariners. In the past seven games he has four HR and 11 RBI. He may finish the year as a top ten catcher so give him a shot.

My Projection: .250 AVG / 72 R / 22 HR / 85 RBI / 4 SB

Click here for our other waiver wire gems!

Brian “Killboy” Kilpatrick is a Senior Writer for 4thandHome.com, where this, and other work, can be found. Additionally, he is co-host of The 4th and Home Show on Blog Talk Radio.

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Seattle Mariners: Miguel Olivo Deal Finalized, Pitching Search Update

The Seattle Mariners finalized a two-year contract, with a club option for a third, with catcher Miguel Olivo.


Nearly a month after the deal was agreed on, pen went to paper and a press release was sent out. I can’t say I remember a deal ever taking this long to finalize.

To make room for Olivo on the 40-man roster, pitcher Anthony Varvaro was designated for assignment. As these things go, the Mariners now have 10 days to release, trade or outright Varvaro to the Minors.

Varvaro is 26. He throws hard, but doesn’t throw strikes exceptionally well. He’s not a huge loss, but for a team that is soft in both the majors and minors, he’s at least worth keeping around for organizational depth.

In other news, one of the names the Mariners had been tied to isn’t coming to town. Chris Capuano, who is coming off injury problems, signed a one-year deal with the Mets.

Having been with the Brewers there were ties to GM Jack Zduriencik, and Safeco Field would have played well to his skill set.

With David Aardsma now needing surgery, making him untradeadble for now, the Mariners’ limited budget room is now even lot tighter. The options to find a back-end starter are getting pretty slim.

I’d expect to see someone like a David Pauley to break camp with the team unless one of the last remaining options, Jeff Francis, is brought in.


You can follow Alex on Twitter @AlexCarson or email him comments, questions or concerns at alexcarson.br@gmail.com

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Miguel Olivo: The Mariners Behind the Dish and the Sorry Market for Catchers

The Mariners were bad behind the plate in 2010. In fact, they were sub-par in every position except right field. Miguel Olivo was recently signed to a two-year deal by the team to be their everyday catcher. The deal is worth $7,000,000—a reasonable figure considering his ability to call a game. Offensively, however, he is barely an upgrade over the trio of backstops who butchered the position for most of Seattle’s 2010 season.

Most of the playing time went to 26-year-old Adam Moore. He hit .195 in 218 plate appearances. He walked only eight times and was on pace for about 180 strikeouts. His defense was worth one run below replacement level.

Rob Johnson spent a lot of time behind the dish for the Mariners as well. Johnson hit .191 but is a better offensive player than Moore. Both were hit by bad luck on their batting averages on balls in play, but Johnson was hit slightly harder. While Adam Moore might be a 12-15 home run guy if he can learn discipline, Rob Johnson was on pace for only about six home runs. Park effect notwithstanding, those are paltry power numbers.

Rob Johnson’s 12 percent walk rate was better than the team’s 2010 average of 8.5 percent. He strikes out a lot too, but not as much as Adam Moore.

Josh Bard also caught 39 games for the team. Bard is somewhere between Adam Moore and Rob Johnson in terms of talent. His career .256 average is underwhelming but he has shown good plate discipline in his best years, though he now appears to be in decline. After posting a .214/.276/.357 line, he will be lucky to sign a major-league deal for 2011.

Miguel Olivo is like a band-aid that only covers half of the wound. He won’t hit for average as his career .246 mark attests. He cannot take a walk and will strike out a lot. His career walk rate is 4.1 percent. Compare that to the league average which tends to be somewhere between eight and nine percent. While the average hitter strikes about 20 percent of the time, Olivo’s K-rate tends to be closer to 30 percent.

His reputation as a power hitter will depend on whether he can stay in the lineup long enough to hit 15 home runs. 15 is probably his ceiling, given the pitcher-friendly nature of Safeco Field. Good defense will help him stay in the lineup.

Defensively, Olivo will be a huge upgrade for the Mariners. In fact, that defense makes his contract worth it to me. If you just consider the offense you have to question whether Olivo deserves a major-league job, but believe it or not, this was a smart deal for the Mariners to make. The pool of available catchers, which lost Victor Martinez early in the offseason, is strikingly poor. The remaining options are Bengie Molina, Gregg Zaun, Gerald Laird, Matt Treanor, Henry Blanco and Chad Moeller.

The best option for anyone in need of a catcher is probably Bengie Molina, traded from the Giants to the Rangers months before the two teams met in the World Series. Molina is just two years removed from a 20 home run season, but has seen his batting average drop in each of the past two seasons. He has always struggled to get on base, and has lost much of his power.

Gregg Zaun has struggled to stay healthy and he approaches his fortieth birthday next April. While he has been slightly above average in the OBP department, he does little else and cannot be counted on.

Gerald Laird hit .218 over the last two seasons with nine home runs in a little more than one seasons’ worth of at bats. Finally, Matt Treanor, Henry Blanco, and Chad Moeller spent 2010 affirming why they are career backups. They can’t hit, but catching is not an easy job, so they remain employed.

Defense distinguishes Miguel Olivo. His offense is probably going to be a detriment to the team unless he finds the power he showed in 2009. But, it makes sense for the Mariners, who have money, to pay $3.5 million a year for his services over the next couple of years. The alternatives are even worse.

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Free Agents Miguel Olivo and Jack Cust to the Seattle Mariners

On December 8th the Seattle Mariners signed free-agent catcher Miguel Olivo to a two-year contract worth $7 million with a club option for a third year.  Just a few days prior to the agreement with Olivo, Seattle signed free-agent DH Jack Cust to a one-year $2.5 million deal.  Personally I am in favor of neither deal. 

Jack Cust is a prototypical DH.  He is a hack anywhere in the field and the only value he can generate is with his left-handed bat.  The defensive metric UZR, which measures defense in the extra runs saved (or cost) by having the player in the field rates Cust poorly.  Cust cost’s his team over 20 runs a season when in the outfield. 

At the plate Cust is a “three true outcomes” hitter.  The three true outcomes are walks, strikeouts and home runs.  The last two years Russell Branyan has been the team’s resident “three true outcomes” player.  In 112 games in 2010 for the Oakland Athletics, Jack Cust hit 13 home runs, walked 68 times and struck out a 127 times. 

On the outside of the deal, Cust looks like a solid addition; he walks a lot, he batted .272 last year and he is only a few years removed from a season in which he hit 33 home runs.  Additionally, he was worth a decent 2.4 WAR, which measures the wins a player provides over a replacement-level player.  Despite these factors, Cust has all the signs of being terrible next year.  Even though he is only 31 years old, Cust may be on the rapid decline in much the same way Richie Sexson was his last two years here.

The last four years Cust has seen his HR/FB drop, the statistic (in form of a percent) is used to measure how many of the hitter’s fly balls resulted in home runs.  In 2007, 31.7 percent of Jack Cust’s fly balls left the yard, however last season only 14.9 percent did.  This is quite alarming for a guy who gets most of his value from smashing long balls.  In Sexson’s time with the Mariners he faced a similar fate, going from 24.5 percent HR/FB down to a lowly 17.4 percent. 

One other alarming thing about Cust: He hits most of his home runs to left field, which is especially bad when it comes to hitting in Safeco.  In 2010, Cust hit seven of his 13 home runs to left, one to center and five to right field.  His slugging percentage backed this up because he slugged .679 when he pulled the ball (to right field) and he slugged .787 when he hit the ball to left field.  You can look at his home run chart for 2010 here

The other free agent Seattle added also seems to be a bad move, although this time it is a player who has spent time in a Mariners uniform before.  Miguel Olivo, a catcher, came to Seattle in 2004 with two other players as part of the trade that sent Freddy Garcia to the Chicago White Sox.  Olivo was jettisoned by Seattle during the 2005 season and has played in Florida, Kansas City and Colorado since then. 

He is exactly the type of hitter who fails in Seattle, a right-handed hitter who doesn’t walk or hit for average, and can only pull the ball to left field.  Safeco is particularly hard on right-handed hitters, and Olivo’s only offensive upside is from pulling a few home runs every now and then.  Olivo hit 14 home runs in 2010, and topped out at 23 in 2009.  Olivo is a career .246 hitter as well, which is not very good.  There is reason to believe he will be worse in 2011 too. 

In 2010 he played in the very hitter-friendly Coors field and hit .318 with 10 of his 14 home runs.  Away from the high altitude he only managed to hit .211 with four home runs in almost as many games.  So, Olivo could really fall off the map as a hitter for the Mariners.  Especially since he hit every home run last year to left field or center.

Another problem with the Olivo deal is that it is for two years even though the Mariners have a young catcher in Adam Moore who does have some potential left despite a bad first year in the majors.  The Mariners are obviously saying that they have no faith in Moore by giving Olivo two years, which is sad because Moore never really got a chance to prove himself.  He was once considered a pretty good prospect with the chance to be a catcher who hit above average for the position at the MLB level.

The only attribute Olivo has that is a plus would be his arm.  Last year he threw out 42 percent of people attempting to steal bases, which is very good.  Olivo will certainly be a better defender than any of the Mariners catchers last season.

To me, both of these deals look bad.  Cust despite being a useful DH over the last few seasons may be on the decline and has a very real possibility to struggle hitting next year because his tendency to hit the ball to left field, and the fact that over the years his home runs have been coming less and less frequently due to a drop in his FB/HR rate.  In fact, Cust is a worse player than former Mariner Russell Branyan, because he should hit fewer home runs, and strike out more. 

Olivo, on the other hand, is a bad move because he is taking the spot of a promising young player, and the fact that he is likely to completely fall off the map with the bat while hitting at Safeco.  Both of these contracts also seem like the type of players that get signed right before spring training traditionally because of their obvious flaws.  However, Jack Zduriencik chose to sign these guys early in the game when better options were still on the market, making me wonder if the Mariners have less money to spend than the reported $16-plus million.  Whatever the reason, it would be wise not to draft either of these guys for your fantasy baseball team.

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MLB Offseason: 5 Potential Catching Scenarios for the 2011 Boston Red Sox

Now that catcher Victor Martinez is gone, where do Red Sox fans turn?

Who is going to be behind the plate next season. Will it be Varitek, Saltalamacchia….Kevin Cash?

These (okay, so hopefully not Kevin Cash) are all possible choices for the Red Sox in 2011. One thing has to be said, though: the market is incredibly short for catchers. If you want a grade A catcher, he’s got to come up through the farm system, plain and simple.

I humbly present five possible catching scenarios that could happen for the ’11 Sox.

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MLB Free Agency: 10 Clubhouse Cancers Your Team Should Avoid

MLB Free Agency 2011 continues with most of the big names still on the market.

Aside from making a big splash by landing Carl Crawford or Cliff Lee, most Major League clubs will be looking to bolster their depth by adding veteran hitting and pitching.

As usual, there are plenty reliable role players available.

There are also a few players who you might want your favorite teams to ignore for one reason or another.

Here’s a look at 10 clubhouse cancers who could stir up trouble with their new clubs.

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Toronto Blue Jays Acquire Miguel Olivo From Colorado Rockies

The Jays acquired catcher Miguel Olivo from the Colorado Rockies earlier today for the cliche “player to be named later or cash.”

The 32-year-old catcher batted .269 last season with 14 homers and 58 runs batted in.

This move, however, does not spell the possible end to John Buck in Toronto. The Rockies had until I believe have midnight to accept Olivo’s $2.5 million option, and if not, would have to pay him a $500,000 buyout. This move prevents the Rockies from doing either.

Olivo qualifies as a type B free agent catcher, so if he signs with another team, Toronto will again gain a compensatory draft pick sandwiched between the second and third rounds.

For John Buck fans, this move, like I said, does not spell the end of the catcher in Toronto. Also worth noting, this not spell the end of J.P. Arencibia’s shots at earning a roster spot either.

This move to me reeks of Alex Anthopolous’ genius. It’s another crafty way to acquire another prospect without really giving up anything of note, at least right now.

As the offseason continues to slowly move along, the Jays offseason plans are beginning to take shape. Will they sign Olivo and send Buck packing along with a position change possibly for Arencibia? That remains to be seen.

My hope is that Olivo leaves, and the Jays get that compensation pick. Not to mention the Rockies taking a prospect whom we have no interest in keeping. I’m keeping my fingers crossed its Lance Broadway.


EDIT: The Jays decided to cut Olivo not too long after in hopes of receiving a compensatory draft pick. So my prediction ended up being correct. John Buck Fans Rejoice!

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MLB Trade Rumors: Florida Marlins Should Pursue Trading for Catcher Mike Napoli

While the Florida Marlins may have their hands full with finding their next manager and signing Dan Uggla to a contract extension this offseason, they face an uphill battle in fixing what was broken throughout the 2010 season, bullpen aside the catcher position gave the Marlins headaches all season long. 

I’d compare it to the Marlins buying a brand new battery and having to change it every few days, which translates to every couple of weeks for the Marlins who went through an assortment of them this past season. 

The primary starter John Baker who underwent Tommy John Surgery in the summer hopes to be ready by the time spring training rolls around but it won’t be easy process considering he’ll still need to use his throwing arm after every pitch and when base runners are on the loose.

And from the looks of it, the Marlins might not be as intrigued to bring back backup catcher Ronny Paulino after his positive test for performance-enhancing drugs in mid-August.

Down the stretch after losing Paulino, the Marlins went with an array of catchers, ranging from Brad Davis to Brett Hayes to Chris Hatcher and Mike Rivera.

In 2010, the quintet of Baker, David, Hayes, Hatcher, and Rivera went on to hit a combined .197 (56 for 284) with 5 home runs and 28 RBI in 104 games. You can make the argument that may have been a reason why the Marlins lost as many games as they did these season and could have been anywhere in the 85 to 90 win range had they had a solid healthy catcher throughout the season. 

Looking at the free agent market, the only intriguing name out there is Victor Martinez yet he 32 and would demand big money—upward of $50 million, which is Dan Uggla money—if the Marlins intend to rise their offer. 

While familiar names such as Ramon Castro, Miguel Olivo and Matt Treanor can all possibly be free agents, I don’t expect the Marlins to go to either because of age and money combined. I can’t envision the Marlins paying Treanor or Castro more than $2 million, which is what they may command and Olivo is likely to return to Colorado with his mutual option pending. 

As for the trade market, the Marlins can probably pursue Ivan Rodriguez from the Nationals and perhaps get him for virtually a class-A minor leaguer yet he won’t bring with him the impact bat the Marlins need. 

The remaining candidate who is on the block at a reasonable contract price and is under 30 years of age? Mike Napoli.

Napoli carries with him the perfect bat to a possible Marlins lineup that use some added protection considering Jorge Cantu and Cody Ross have departed via midseason trades.

While the Marlins may have Gaby Sanchez, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, and Mike Stanton as their power hitters, adding Mike Napoli gives the Marlins a dangerous lineup which could easily rival that of the Phillies and Braves and set themselves up for a good 1 through 8 in the batting order. Imagine starting off on Opening Day with Coghlan, Morrison, Ramirez, Uggla, Sanchez, Stanton, Napoli and Maybin. 

Mike Napoli can be non-tendered by the Angels if they decide to go in a different direction but more than likely, Napoli will be shopped around the league which brings a catcher weak Marlins team into the fold.

Napoli is a local South Florida product hailing from Charles Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines and he was born in Hollywood, Florida. He would welcome a return to the Sunshine State in a heartbeat especially if he was non-tendered.

2010 Batting Statistics: .238 batting average, 26 home runs and 68 RBI

2010 Contract: $3,600,000 

2011 Projected Salary: $ 5-6 million (third year arbitration eligible) 

Defense will certainly be an issue for any team that has Napoli who committed a league high nine errors as a catcher in 2009. I’d suspect that if Mike Napoli ever came to be a Florida Marlin, he’d more than likely split time with John Baker in a platoon role with right and left handed pitching. Napoli hit .219 last season against right handed pitcher.

The ultimate factor is money for the Marlins in acquiring a guy like Napoli. The money has to be used in signing Dan Uggla to an extension and shoring up the depleted bullpen for the Fish yet if can give the Marlins a stable catcher for the next few seasons until Kyle Skipworth is ready then they should pursue the opportunity especially if Napoli gives them the hometown discount. 

Nevertheless, if the Marlins expect to draw any interest of fans to their new stadium they’ll have to do it by getting competitive and spending their money. Their image has been ruined in the public by their own local government, MLB, and by Cody Ross’ performance in the postseason.

If they want to repair their image they’ll have begin making trades to add pieces, not dumping them and I would like to see it happen in the offseason and not the midseason trading deadline when the team is on pins and needles. Mike Napoli would be a solid first step in that direction for a franchise undergoing a major facelift soon.

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Ashes To Ashes: Is It Time for a Maple Bat Moratorium?

Eric Byrnes/Miguel Olivo – August 2006 

Don Long/Nate McLouth – April 2008

Todd Helton/Susan Rhodes – April 2008

Miguel Olivo/Brian O’ Nora – June 2008

Mike Napoli/Brad Ziegler – August 2010

Welington Castillo/Tyler Colvin – September 2010

The names and dates above link to six separate, highly publicized incidents in which broken or shattered maple bats have hit and or injured persons at an MLB game, both those on the playing field and off it.  In the most recent case, Colvin, a Chicago Cubs rookie playing in his first full season, was struck in the chest by the sharp end of Castillo’s bat and ended up with a wound that will prevent him from playing in any further action this year.  The injuries sustained by Long, O’Nora (pictured) and Rhodes were considerably more horrifying than Colvin‘s, but in spite of maple’s notoriety for emulating a cruise missile with Frisbee rotation, there has yet to be any action taken by the league.  I know I’m far from the first person to bring this up, but here’s what people aren’t talking about: it’s almost a certainty that the situation will get worse before it gets better.  According to an official quoted in the Byrnes/Olivo article, it would take years to end the production and use of maple bats if commissioner Bud Selig were to put the kibosh on them after this season. Here’s the 2006 quote from Chuck Schupp, an employee for the company that makes Louisville Sluggers:

Schupp, in his 24th year with Hillerich & Bradsby and the liaison between the company and the players, said he recently warned MLB not to make a hasty decision on eliminating maple.

“I told Major League Baseball if they say maple bats can’t be used anymore, do not do it until late 2008 or 2009,” Schupp said. “We already ordered everything for next year. You’ve got to cut the wood, dry it, process it. I can’t call the lumber mill and say I need 10,000 ash bats.”

Do the math and you see that maple will still be terrorizing ball fields for at least another 3 years; with a possible maple extermination looming, veterans will be racing to use whatever maple is still left in production at the time of decree.  That said, at least there is something being done – certain maple bats were banned in the minor leagues this year, and bat specifications were tweaked to promote bat strength.  It seems that the MLB is trying to root out the problem by applying the rules to all who have yet to make a 40-man roster, but the rule needs to be clarified considerably. An example: if a player spends his entire time in the minor leagues hitting with an ash bat, and then gets called up and wants to use a maple bat, can he? Sure, you would guess he would stick with what works, but if he thinks maple gives him added power over the contact he felt using an ash bat, wouldn’t he use it? More importantly, anyone who has already made it to The Show has free reign to use whatever they like, so the present rule would not completely eradicate the existence of maple until all of the players who debuted last year finish their careers. 

The unknown entity here is the stance of the MLB Players’ Association, which will most likely seek to retain the maple bats in spite of their dangers so that it can provide the best competitive advantage to the players who are members of the union.  As someone who owns a maple bat, I understand that perspective completely – maple seems sturdier and solid contact feels more pure than the same swing made with an ash bat.  The real issue, as McLouth pointed out, might be more psychological at this point, given how particular players are about the equipment they use; after all, this is the superstition-fraught sport that gave us Pedro Cerrano.

At the same time, there are extenuating circumstances here that say otherwise. When Colvin was struck, he was running in foul territory while watching to make sure the ball Castillo hit was not caught – he did not have any reason to think he was in danger of bodily harm, being that he was not in the field of play and not near the ball.  Had he run just a little bit faster, he might have been struck unexpectedly in the face, and that’s a fear no player wants to have while he’s trying to do his job. Likewise, Rhodes and Long were paying attention a ball in the field of play when they were hit; if fans and players alike are not properly protected during game action, they can’t be expected to watch/play at the risk of their own physical health.  Others writing about this topic have mentioned the additional netting put in place by the NHL after an errant puck fatally struck a 13-year-old girl, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Selig to at least consider having the same kind of netting put in place between the dugouts and the present backstop at each ballpark – though you can catch a high-speed foul ball, you can’t exactly stop a shattered bat with a baseball glove.

Given the preference for maple, it will not be easy to find a suitable replacement for SamBats and other popular brands used by the pros.  One thought would be to mandate a bat that is some combination of a composite handle and a maple barrel that would make the maple less likely to shatter in long, sharp fragments as it presently does.  Another idea is simply trying to find a different wood source for bats – many cricket bats are made of willow, which might be a decent alternative if it can be cut down to an easy-to-wield weight.    Whatever the solution, the decision needs to be made in winter meetings before the start of next season – it would not be wise or safe for the MLB to continue to allow its faithful patrons to risk their own livelihoods because they are unable to keep track of two divergent trajectories, hit ball and flying bat, at one time.  No other major sport forces us to do that on a regular basis.

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Credit to Yahoo! Sports, MLB.com, SB Nation, SFGate.com, ESPN.com and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for media and information used in this post.

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