The Show: Pace Car Edition

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On this week’s The Show, we took a look at a few guys
having spectacularly good (or bad) seasons and projected their numbers
for the entire year. Despite a slump, is Ian Kinsler on pace to have one of the greatest seasons ever by a second baseman? Can anything stop Chris Davis from obliterating the strikeout mark? Plus some notes about Raul Ibanez (we shot this before the nonsense that erupted this week.

That video can be seen below. Stats are a tad out of date since it was shot on Tuesday, and Roy Halladay has since been injured, so I suppose we jinxed him. Anyway, here are a few more Pace Car notes:

– Despite a rough week, Albert Pujols is on track to put up
this line: .321/.440/.665, 53 HR, 145 RBI, 121 BB, 25 SB, and only 61
Ks. That’d be a career high in homers, ribbies, walks, and steals.

– He might be coming back to earth a bit, but you’d certainly take
22-5, 1.72 ERA, 262/43 K/BB, 254 innings, 14 complete games, and 5
shutouts from Zack Greinke. The last pitcher to go double digits in complete games was Randy Johnson in 1999.

Joel Piniero has factored into the decision for all of
his 12 starts (5-7) and is on pace to go 13-18. No pitcher has won that
many games with 18 or more losses since Jack Morris in 1990 for Detroit, when he finished 15-18. A year later, he was winning the World Series with the Twinkies.

Matt Cain for Comeback Player of the Year? If he keeps up
at this rate, he’ll finish 22-3 with a 2.55 ERA and 159 Ks. The last
two seasons combined he went 15-30 with a 3.70 ERA. A better ERA
certainly helps with the record, but so does good run support (5.66
runs/game). In 2008 that number was 3.12, and in 2007 it was 3.20.

– If I gave you the numbers 47 and 11, and told you that one of those numbers would be David Wright’s
home run total and the other was his stolen base total, what would you
think? (Hint: he is not on pace for 47 bombs.) He’s also on track for
50 doubles, although such a discrepancy between homers and doubles in
not unprecedented. In Major League history, 25 players have hit 11 or
fewer homers and had at least 50 doubles. However, the 47 steals would
put him 3rd all-time on the list of players with at least 50 doubles,
behind Tris Peaker in 1912 and Craig Biggio in 1998.

Julio Urias to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

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The news has gone from bad to worse for Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias, who is scheduled for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder next Tuesday and expected to be sidelined through the middle of the 2018 season. His MRI came back negative on Wednesday, giving the Dodgers some hope that the 20-year-old’s bout of shoulder inflammation wasn’t masking any structural damage, but the pain lingered several days later and prompted further concern from the club. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late May and placed on the disabled list with left shoulder discomfort several weeks into his assignment. At the major league level, he owned a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 through 23 1/3 innings, going 0-2 in five starts with Los Angeles. He made a brief rebound in Triple-A, posting three wins and striking out 17 of 67 batters in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the DL.

It’s a tough blow for the southpaw, who had yet to hit his stride in the majors before getting sidelined with shoulder issues. The Dodgers were especially mindful of this outcome for Urias, and had taken preventative measures to protect his arm by establishing a strict innings limit last season. According to club president Andrew Friedman, there’s a small silver lining here: while Urias’ injury will keep him out of work for at least 12 months, he doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage to his labrum or rotator cuff, and could be facing a much more streamlined recovery process as a result. Whether he’ll be able to rebound once he takes the mound again remains to be seen.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.