Neftali Feliz to be handled like Joba?

Leave a comment

Much has been made about the impact that Nolan Ryan has had on the Texas Rangers pitching staff – how extending pitch counts produces positive results, how pitchers these days are babied too much, etc. However, it sounds like that mantra doesn’t apply to all Texas pitchers.

Word is the Rangers will be handling phenom Neftali Feliz similar to how the Yankees dealt with Joba Chamberlain back in 2007. No back-to-back appearances, and for every inning pitched, he gets a day off.
It’s unclear if Texas manager Ron Washington will strictly follow these guidelines as we get closer to the playoffs. It’s fine to implement restrictions in late August, but what happens during those two late-September series against the Angels if Vlad Guerrero comes up in a big spot on back-to-back nights? Or when the Rays come to town on that second-to-last weekend of the year, and the two teams are fighting for the Wild Card – do they still hold Feliz back?
It’ll be a situation worth monitoring, particularly if 1) the Rangers stay in the race and/or 2) other relievers start blowing games and Feliz turns out to be Washington’s most reliable arm in the pen.
The Yankees could afford to do what they did with Joba in 2007 because they won the Wild Card by six games. In the playoffs that year, the Joba Rules were supposedly lifted, although in part because of the spread out schedule, we never saw Joba in back-to-back nights.
Do you agree with what the Rangers are doing? Is Nolan Ryan being hypocritical at all here, or is it a different scenario? Let us know in the comments.

Kris Bryant on Joey Votto: “He’s the best player ever … He’s a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.

As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”

Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”

Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.

Video: Daniel Descalso hits D-Backs’ third inside-the-park homer of the season

Bob Levey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.

It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.

As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.