Though it was widely assumed that Andrew McCutchen would take over in center field this season for San Francisco, it is being reported by ESPN that the Giants are interested in signing free agent Mississippian Jarrod Dyson and bumping the newly acquired McCutchen to a corner spot. Former Southwest Mississippi Community College standout Dyson is an outstanding defender who batted .251 with 28 steals for Seattle in 2017. … Having gone four years without a postseason at-bat in Cincinnati, Zack Cozart surely improved his chances of a 2018 playoff appearance by signing with the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent last month. As the Ole Miss product tells it (to mlb.com), “It’s tough to beat playing with Joey Votto, but now I’m going to the Angels and probably the best player in the world (Mike Trout) is on the team, and I played against Albert (Pujols) early on when he was on the Cardinals, so I know how good he can be.” Cozart will join fellow newcomers Shohei Ohtani and Ian Kinsler on a loaded Angels club that could challenge Houston in the American League West. … Drew Pomeranz, the former Ole Miss standout who won 17 games for Boston in 2017, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a 1-year, $8.5 million contract last week. Also signing pre-arbitration deals were former Taylorsville High star Billy Hamilton ($4.6M with Cincinnati) and Meridian Community College product Corey Dickerson ($5.9M with Tampa Bay). … Ex-Mississippi State standout Kendall Graveman has yet to reach an agreement with Oakland; he asked for $2.6M, the team offered $2.36M. … Columbia High product Ti’Quan Forbes is among a group of Chicago White Sox hitters gathered in Arizona this week for a mini-camp. Forbes, a second-round pick by Texas in 2014, was acquired by the ChiSox in a trade last summer. A 21-year-old third baseman/shortstop, Forbes is batting .242 for his pro career but hit 11 home runs in A-ball last season. … Worth noting (and reading): mlbtraderumors.com is now publishing installments of Tim Dillard’s “The Inner Monologue of @DimTillard.” The former Itawamba Community College star and onetime big leaguer, who is still an active pitcher in Milwaukee’s minor league system, is quite the entertaining fellow, as you’ll find from reading his posts. The hidden twinkies story is classic.
For the first time in four years, former Itawamba Community College star Tim Dillard is back in The Show. Well, sorta. The 33-year-old Dillard, who pitched in Triple-A this season, was summoned to Milwaukee this week not as a relief pitcher but as a “comedic relief specialist.” That is, he joined the Brewers’ social media team (#BrewersLastCallUp), not their bullpen. Dillard has gained a certain measure of fame recently as the producer/star of hilarious videos, and the Brewers wanted to make use of his talents at the big-league level. “There’s no doubt that Tim has a skill set that you won’t find anywhere else,” Brewers GM David Stearns told mlb.com. As a pitcher, Dillard also has some ability. He has logged 527 games in pro ball, including 73 appearances in MLB, in a career that dates back to 2003. His minor league ledger shows a 79-54 record and 3.85 ERA. A graduate of Saltillo High, Dillard is the son of former Ole Miss and big league star Steve Dillard.