If the game is 90 percent pitching…

Leave a comment

How is .270 with 14 homers and 63 RBI more valuable than 13-6 with a 3.94 ERA or 6-3 with 26 saves and a 1.84 ERA?
I don’t even want to get into the more complicated statistics, because the voters clearly aren’t. But Gordon Beckham has now won AL top rookie honors from The Sporting News and the Players Choice Awards.
Of course, both are voted on by players, so Beckham wasn’t likely to win one and not the other.
I just don’t see how he deserved to win either.
Beckham is going to be a very good regular for a long time, but he didn’t truly set himself apart offensively or defensively this year. His counting stats are completely unremarkable, and an 808 OPS over the course of 103 games isn’t what one expects to see from a serious Rookie of the Year contender.
Niemann was certainly more valuable with his 180 2/3 innings of above average pitching. Bailey was arguably the game’s most valuable reliever. He finished fourth in baseball in relief innings pitched, and he was fourth in ERA and first in WHIP amongst relievers with 60 innings pitched.
I’d also put Elvis Andrus above Beckham with his .267/.329/.373 line in 480 at-bats and his impressive defense at shortstop, but that’s a closer call. Bailey is the rookie most deserving of all of this hardware. He’s not going to have the same kind of career of Beckham, but he was the most effective player this year.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

Getty Images
1 Comment

Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

Getty Images
1 Comment

David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.