Carl Crawford, yesterday:
Crawford said today that he would be open to a long-term deal with
the Rays this winter and said he “would like to be a part of” the Rays’
future. He noted that that wasn’t the case before last season, but he has
confidence that the organization remains headed in the right direction
and won’t regress to its old ways.
“I hope we can get something done,” he said.
Rays boss Andrew Friedman, last night:
“We are very pleased to hear C.C.’s comments. Consistent with our policy, we do not
speak publicly about contract negotiations but obviously we have a
tremendous amount of respect for Carl both on and off the field. He
has been a big part of our past success and I expect he will be a big
part of our future success as well.”
OK, so they don’t comment about contract negotiations, but I think that speaks loud and clear all the same. Crawford has a $10 million option for next year. The Rays will almost certainly pick that up. From what it sounds like, however, they’re almost certainly going to add some years on that for their speedy left fielder as well.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.