* Harold Reynolds used his MLB.com blog
for a lengthy, stream of consciousness-style rant about … well, it’s
a little unclear. The basic premise seems to be that stats are bad, but
I’m more intrigued by Reynolds a) thinking that OPS is a hardcore stat,
b) using the phrase “clogging the bases” without even a hint of irony,
c) touting Dave Kingman as an example of hitters with artificially high
on-base percentages when in fact he had a terrible .302 career OBP, and
d) apparently boycotting the use of paragraph breaks as a symbol of his
stat-fueled rage. Oh, and I’m even more amused by the always awesome
Joe Posnanski’s attempt to “translate Reynolds’ post in 15 steps.”
(Note: The preceding paragraph was brought to you without interruption in honor of Reynolds.)
* Both teams went homerless last night for the first time in the 35-game history of new Yankee Stadium.
* The owner’s suite at the Rangers’ ballpark is being renamed after George W. Bush, who was the team’s managing general partner from 1989-1994 before becoming governor of Texas.
* Here’s the shirt that all the guys at the SABR convention would wear if we weren’t too fat to fit in them.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.