Unless you play fantasy or are a fan of the team these guys are
employed by, you might not be aware that they’re putting up some pretty
Javy Vazquez: The 7-7 record is deceiving. Javy’s ERA
sits at 2.86, his WHIP is 1.048, and he has struck out 141 batters (3rd
in MLB) in 126.0 innings (also good for a 5.88 K/BB).
David Aardsma: Much of the preseason hype for a Seattle closer was given to Brandon Morrow.
But after he imploded, Aardsma took over, and has coverted 22 of 24
saves, has an ERA of 1.83 and strikes out more than a batter an inning
(53 K in 44.1 IP). Perhaps even more impressive is that he has allowed
runs in only 4 of his 45 outings.
Wandy Rodriguez: 117 strikeouts (Johan Santana=117). 10-6 record (Johan=11-7). 2.72 ERA (Johan=2.92). 1.23 WHIP (Johan=1.19). 125.2 IP (Johan=123.1).
Jermaine Dye: Quietly crushing the ball yet again. 21 homers, 59 RBI, and a .294/.368/.557 line (along with an OPS+ of 135).
Derek Jeter: Remember last year when Jeter was being
written off (career-low .771 OPS, only 11 SB, worst fielding shortstop
of all-time)? Well, the batting average is up to .319, his OPS is at
.847, he has 18 steals, and his 10 homers are one shy of lasy year’s
total (thank you, New Yankee Stadium). He’s also walking more than he
ever has in 10 years (10.6%), with the lowest strikeout rate of his
career (12.7%). And don’t look now, but his UZR is 1.8, second-best on
the Yankees. Maybe he was hurt last year and no one knew?
The Brewers acquired prospects Jake Nottingham and Bubba Derby from the Athletics on Friday in exchange for slugging outfielder Khris Davis. The hope is that Nottingham will develop into the Brewers’ catcher of the future, so you could say that the club is planning for life after Jonathan Lucroy. However, Brewers general manager David Stearns said today that the trade doesn’t change Lucroy’s immediate status.
The Brewers are in rebuild-mode and Lucroy is an excellent trade chip if healthy, as his contract includes a $5.25 million club option for 2017. It’s likely just a matter of time before he’s shipped elsewhere, but yesterday’s trade shouldn’t change the timeline for a potential deal. Nottingham doesn’t turn 21 until April and has yet to play in Double-A, so he’s still a ways off from the majors. The Brewers can afford to wait on the right offer for Lucroy, whether it’s in spring training or at the trade deadline or perhaps later.
Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Nottingham batted .316/.372/.505 with 17 home runs over 109 games last season between Class A and High-A. He was traded from the Astros to the Athletics as part of the Scott Kazmir deal last July. It’s worth noting that Stearns was the assistant GM for Houston when Nottingham was drafted in the sixth round back in 2013, so he’s clearly a fan.
Giants second baseman Joe Panik missed nearly all of August and September last season due to a nagging back injury, but he told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com on Friday that he’s feeling “100 percent.”
Panik, who earned his first All-Star selection last season, originally landed on the disabled list in early August due to what was described as lower back inflammation. He made his return in September, but appeared in just three games before being shut down. The good news is that he was cleared by doctors in mid-December and considers himself “back to normal.”
“It was right around the time of all the signings,” he said, smiling. “I was able to fly under the radar. I got tested and everything had healed up. I got cleared and was able to have my full offseason workouts. I’m good to go. I’m happy to be feeling good and going back out on the field to show that I’m healthy. My swing feels strong.”
Panik altered his offseason workout routine and plans to spend less time in his spikes in the early part of spring training. The hope is that these changes will prevent future issues.
After a strong showing as a rookie in 2014, the 25-year-old Panik proved to be one of the best second baseman in the majors last season by batting .312/.378/.455 with eight home runs and 37 RBI over 100 games while playing solid defense.
Baseball America unveiled their top 100 prospect list Friday night during a special on MLB Network. It should come as no surprise that Dodgers infielder Corey Seager came in at No. 1.
This makes Seager the consensus top prospect in the game. He was also ranked first by MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN’s Keith Law. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was ranked second on all four lists.
Baseball America has the most aggressive ranking of Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada from the Red Sox, who checked in at No. 3. He was followed by pitching prospects Lucas Giolito from the Nationals and Julio Urias from the Dodgers to round out the top five.
You can see Baseball America’s full top 100 list here.
Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was permanently suspended on Friday after testing positive for a third time for a performance-enhancing drug. The right-hander is maintaining his innocence, as ESPN’s Adam Rubin notes in quoting Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez. Mejia said, “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”
Mejia has the opportunity to petition commissioner Rob Manfred in one year for reinstatement to Major League Baseball. However, he must sit out at least two years before becoming eligible to pitch in the majors again, which would mean Mejia would be 28 years old.
Over parts of five seasons, Mejia has a career 3.68 ERA with 162 strikeouts and 76 walks over 183 1/3 innings. He was once a top prospect in the Mets’ minor league system and a top-100 overall prospect heading into the 2010 and ’11 seasons.