Stat of the day: Triple-A ERA leaders

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International League top 10
1. Carlos Torres (White Sox) – 2.39
2. Matt Maloney (Reds) – 3.08
3. Michael Bowden (Red Sox) – 3.13
4. Justin Lehr (Reds) – 3.31
5. Kyle Kendrick (Phillies) – 3.34
6. Drew Carpenter (Phillies) – 3.35
7. Wade Davis (Rays) – 3.40
8. Daniel McCutchen (Pirates) – 3.46
9. Marco Estrada (Nationals) – 3.63
10. Chris Lambert (Tigers-Mets) – 3.84
– Of course, most of the International League’s most talented pitchers didn’t qualify for the list. Tommy Hanson had a 1.49 ERA in 11 starts, Clay Buchholz had a 2.36 ERA in 16 starts and Chris Tillman had a 2.70 ERA in 18 starts.
– The league strikeout leader was Carlos Carrasco at 148. He also had just a 1.24 WHIP, but he finished with a 4.64 ERA. It’s becoming easier to see why since the Indians added him to their rotation at the beginning of the month.
– Making Bowden’s season remarkable was that he finished 4-6 with a whopping 14 no-decisions in his 24 starts. He did average just 5.3 innings per start, but that’s still pretty incredible.
– It will be interesting to see if anyone wants to take a chance on Kendrick after the season he had. To go along with his 3.34 ERA, he had a fine 1.17 WHIP and he allowed only nine homers in 143 innings. However, he also struck out just 68 batters. The Phillies will probably opt to keep him around as insurance unless they get offered a quality prospect for his services.
PCL top 10
1. Bud Norris (Astros) – 2.63
2. Ramon Ortiz (Giants) – 3.05
3. Yorman Bazardo (Astros) – 3.20
4. Lenny DiNardo (Royals) – 3.32
5. Josh Banks (Padres) – 3.46
6. Giancarlo Alvarado (Dodgers) – 3.49
7. Charlie Haeger (Dodgers) – 3.55
8. Clay Hensley (Astros-Marlins) – 3.56
9. J.R. Mathes (Cubs) – 3.62
10. Willie Collazo (Marlins) – 3.70
– Brandon Hynick, the pitcher the White Sox got from the Rockies for Jose Contreras earlier this month, also deserves mention. He finished 11th at 3.83, but given that he was pitching at Colorado Springs, his performance was more impressive than that of a few guys ahead of him on the list.
– Hensley came in at 3.24 in his 19 starts with New Orleans after a failed stint at the Astros organization at the beginning of the year.

Dodgers, Cubs could be interested in Justin Verlander

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.

The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.

Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.

We wait see.

A 30-year-old rookie won his major league debut

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The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.

That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.

Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.