Stephen Strasburg’s debut yesterday was pretty electrifying. Supreme heat — his first pitch was 99 m.p.h. — and a good breaking ball clearly overmatched opposing hitters. As Keith Law notes, his changeup needs some work, but otherwise he’s a guy who looks like he won’t be spending a ton of time down on the farm.
But how much time will he spend on the mound in Washington this year? Peter Gammons reports via Twitter that Boras negotiated a 100-innings cap for him Strasburg this season. The team disputes this, saying that he could pitch 150-160 innings.
I’m inclined to doubt the Gammons report. Not because I don’t trust Gammons, but because Boras has a history of ineffectual beefing about the way his clients are used by teams in a way that suggests that he doesn’t have any leverage when it comes to that stuff. He’s SuperAgent and everything, but I just can’t picture any organization letting him dictate competitive decisions like that.
Figure on Strasburg being up in June and pitching those 150 innings or so.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.