As the Tribune’s Paul Sullivan notes, “The Cubs may be the only team in history to bring their new hitting coach to
town for an introductory news conference while letting their most
prominent free agent signee do his talking over the phone.” But a news conference it was, and Rudy Jaramillo spoke about his guru status. Mostly by denying that he’s a guru, which is smart. But still, is there a hitting coach in baseball who will be under more scrutiny than Jaramillo will be this season?
In addition, the Cubs confirmed that they are looking at Jermaine Dye, but if they brought him in he’d be a utility player of sorts, platooning with Fukudome and backing up Alfonso Soriano and Derrek Lee.
I didn’t like the idea of Dye in San Diego where he’d presumably expect to play every day (and, if some of you readers are correct, the Padres would want him to play every day in order to showcase him for a midseason trade). An uber-corner backup job, however, may be more fitting. Especially with the Cubs, from Dye’s perspective, considering he lives in Chicago anyway.
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.
Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.
Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.
None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.