On Friday, Aaron Gleeman touched on
Tom Glavine’s first public appearance since the 305-game winner was
released by the Braves this week. There was a lot to digest from his
comments, but clearly the 43-year-old future Hall of Famer feels misled
and betrayed by his former club.
“I didn’t realize I was auditioning.
That was it. There was no ‘If you do this, or your velocity is this …
We’ll be evaluating you every step of the way. You’re trying out for
the team.’ None of that. It was ‘If everything goes well and you’re
healthy, you’ll pitch June 7’…. I was taking people at their word, and
at the end of that day that really didn’t seem to mean a whole lot.”
Even though Glavine had thrown 11 consecutive scoreless innings over
his last two rehab starts, the team made a “performance-decision” and
released the veteran, opting instead for young phenom Tommy Hanson. The
22-year-old right-hander has dominated the minors this season with a
sick 1.49 ERA along with 90 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings with Triple-A
Gwinnett. He is primed to make his long-awaited major league debut on
Sunday against the Brewers.
I don’t think many people would question the Braves for taking
Hanson — or even Kris Medlen — over Glavine. After all, Hanson was
already on a rapid rise in the organization, coming off a historic
performance in the Arizona Fall League, becoming the first pitcher to
win the league’s MVP award. And through 11 starts this season, he has
shown that he simply has nothing left to prove down there.
However, the way the situation was handled by general manager Frank
Wren is just plain slimy. It reeks of penny-pinching and disrespect for
a pitcher that won the 1995 World Series MVP with the franchise. I
never understood why the Braves brought him back at all, but Wren
deserves all the criticism he’s getting right now.
Vote in our poll and let us know if you think the Braves were unfair to Glavine.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.