“We’re a little over three months out and I feel pretty much 100 percent,” Maxwell told Bryan Hoch at MLB.com. “I’ve already been hitting and throwing, doing everything. I feel good.”
At this time last year, Maxwell was considered the Nationals’ eighth-best prospect according to Baseball America. The magazine noted his “above-average power potential” and said he was a “plus runner” and an “above-average defender.” I saw him a little bit during my last year in Scranton. I just remember him as a toolsy guy, a player who had the attention of the league.
At the end of last season, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he was looking forward to giving Maxwell another shot in 2011.
“Hopefully, it all comes together and he has a good spring for us and he’s part of the ballclub next year,” Riggleman said. “There’s no reason to give up on him. I think it’s all going to click. There’s no last-chance situation. I wouldn’t put that on him. I’m just hoping he does use the opportunities on the field, as sparing as they’ve been, to show us that he’s the real deal.”
Some other notes and links on this icy Wednesday:
• Terrific piece from my friend Donnie Collins, who wrote that Russ Springer’s retirement sparked memories of watching the Yankees with his grandmother. Be sure to give that a read.
• The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Lou Piniella has accepted a job in the Giants front office. The paper notes that, “GM Brian Sabean goes back with Piniella to their Yankee years in the ’80s, and they’ve remained tight.”
• Josh Norris posted a Q&A with vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman. I didn’t realize the Yankees had moved Vic Valencia to Charleston to work with Gary Sanchez this season.” He’s done a nice job with the catchers he’s worked with so far,” Newman said. “We move staff around to try and match them up with players so we get the biggest bang for our buck from our staff.”
• Heres’s a video of Nick Swisher addressing the media before last night’s Munson dinner. Swisher started to give his acceptance speech in the press room, but ultimately cut it short and saved it for the ballroom.
• Looks like the Rays minor league deal with Felipe Lopez is all but official.
• Here on the blog, I haven’t really mentioned the Mets situation. If you’re curious but haven’t been following the whole mess, here’s a good Times story on the situation. It still seems unclear how this will affect the Mets moving forward.
• I was never a huge White Stripes fan — always thought they were interesting but only bought a couple of their albums — but today the band announced that it’s splitting up, with no plans to ever record or tour again. That’s a shame. At the very least they were always making music that stood out as something different.
Associated Press photo of Maxwell