Mets give away Johan Santana's plan

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Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen told the New York Daily News on Monday that Johan Santana is racking up high pitch counts early in games because of a plan that calls for him throw mostly inside fastballs the first time through the lineup.
The plan is designed to make his changeup more effective as the game goes on, and it’s probably a decent strategy, as long as he mixes it up from time to time.
But why is Warthen telling the whole world that such a plan exists? Is he or the organization so insecure that there’s a need to justify one bad outing from the game’s highest-paid pitcher?
Sure, any team with an advance scout worth his paycheck has already figured it out, but that doesn’t mean you give it away. Now every hitter in the league knows for sure. Now every scout watching the Mets is going to looking extra hard at similar patterns for the rest of the team’s starters.
Before you know it, the rest of the league will catch on to the fact that if you’re facing Oliver Perez and you stand in the box with the bat on your shoulder, you’re more likely than not to walk.
I’m as bored by generic answers from players and coaches as anyone, but Warthen should take a lesson. Unless he’s actually designing some new masterplan for Santana to be unveiled in the left-hander’s next start and this is just some grand misdirection, then he’s done the Mets a disservice.

The Mariners and Cardinals make a minor trade

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The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.

O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.

Topps has eliminated Chief Wahoo from both new and throwback card designs

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I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.

Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.

They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.

As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.

Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.