Red Sox phenom Casey Kelly made his debut yesterday. He threw ten pitches against college kids. Those pitches inspired 2700 words between the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy and WEEI’s Alex Speier. Overkill? Sure, but if you’re like me you really can’t get enough info about young players. I’ve not had a chance to see Kelly pitch yet, so anything I can read about him is interesting to me. And really, these 2700 relatively measured words about Kelly are more enlightening than the five-word, all-caps pronouncements about how Jason Heyward is the Second Coming or whatever.
I think the most interesting thing people are saying about him — apart from the thing about how he played catch with Vlad Guerrero when he Kelly was six years-old, which makes me feel really, really old — is his excellent control, which is not usually the first thing you hear about from a 20 year-old. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing him pitch.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”