Henry Schulman of the Chronicle reports that Bruce Bochy is going to skip Todd Wellemeyer’s next turn in the Giants’ rotation thanks to an off-day on Monday. Schulman has a source, however, who is telling him that Wellemeyer might be on the outs permanently, and that the Giants are considering bringing up Erick Hacker to take his place.
Hacker is having a great year in Fresno, but he’s got very little track record in the major leagues. This is all about Wellemeyer stinking up the joint to the tune of 5.71 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 29/27. Sure, he’s the fifth starter, but when your 1-4 guys are as awesome as Lincecum, Cain, Zito and Sanchez have been, that kind of sticks out.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.