The San Diego Union-Tribune has a fun article today about how their pitching staff has grown over the course of the season:
Remarkable as it is that he’s not even the Padres’ tallest pitcher
— that would still be 6-10 veteran Chris Young — [Adam] Russell isn’t that
much taller than five others on the staff. Mat Latos, Ryan Webb and
Aaron Poreda are listed as 6-6, one inch taller than Mike Adams and
Clayton Richard. None of whom, Young excepted, was on the Padres roster on Opening Day. Young, Latos and Adams were the only ones among the aforementioned
seven who were Padres property.
When the Padres traded Jake Peavy to
the Chicago White Sox on July 31, all four of the pitchers who came to
the San Diego organization were 6-5 or taller, and three of them are
now with the Padres.
“We traded away a point guard,” said Young, “and got four forwards in return.”
There’s the usual talk in there about how it’s hard for a tall pitcher to get all of his parts moving in synch for purposes of his delivery. I know tall guys have a hard time with this in practice, but I’ve never understood exactly why this is. They’re still proportional, right? Why can’t they do what short guys do only, you know, bigger? That aside, I’m surprised that more of them don’t do the Randy Johnson thing and adopt a simple-as-simple-can-be windup, even if they have to come down low to do it.
The other bit of bothersome conventional wisdom in the piece comes when Ryan Webb mentions that he wanted to be a shortstop, but when he tried out for the position in junior high school, his coach told him he couldn’t because at 6’4″ he was too tall.
I suppose things have worked out for Webb — he’s in the majors after all — but why anyone thinks a 6’4″ dude can’t play short is seriously lacking a grasp of baseball history.
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.
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.