It’s only spring training, so the box scored don’t really matter for much anyway. However, with the game between the Rangers and the Diamondbacks being called in the top of the fifth inning, the great work turned in by Zack Greinke will get even more overlooked than usual. Greinke was perfect through four innings before surrendering a walk and a single in the fifth. The game was called at that point and all stats were wiped out. Had the stats counted, Greinke would have extended his scoreless spring training streak to at least eight innings of work.
He’s a fine-time all-star with four Gold Gloves. He batted .281 with 15 home runs in 2018. Still, in this new age of analytics informing baseball contract like never before, Adam Jones was a bargain-deal, late-spring signing, largely because only two teams ever bothered to show interest, neither one of them the team he had played with for the previous 11 seasons. The Diamondbacks wound up the winners in the situation and will now have a highly motivated Jones in their outfield for 2019.
THe calls for Jones’ services did not come this winter the way that he and his agent expected them to. Undaunted, Jones continued to work and to keep himself ready to play when the call finally did come. Now he is preparing himself for a new role on a new team, ready to show the rest of baseball they made a mistake overlooking him.
Merrill Kelly, Others Blindsided by Korean Taxes (Athletic subscription required)
Merrill Kelly will probably never return to Korea again, not even as a tourist. Kelly, like many other foreign-born ballplayers, left the country while mired in a tax scandal that rocked the KBO’s imports. Despite owning a home in Arizona and being married to a U.S. citizen, those recent developments do not help with the out-of-nowhere doubling (and more) of his expected tax burden, which left Kelly owing an additional $180,000 - a small amount compared to other players in the same boat.
Selected 32nd overall in the 2002 draft, Luke Hagerty got off to a solid start. Then came the arm injuries and the yips. Now, 13 years after he last pitched in affiliated ball, Hagerty is making the most improbable of comebacks, hitting 98.5 on the gun and throwing a curve he designed to behave like Corey Kluber’s.
For some teams, these are still some fairly tentative calls. For the Diamondbacks, there are no surprises to be found.