Kendry Morales hurt himself after a walkoff homer on Saturday. Another bittersweet game-ending play occurred last night as Denard Span’s awesome game-ending catch in last night’s Rangers-Twins tilt resulted in Orlando Hudson writhing on the ground.
The game’s final out occurred on a pop fly that was heading towards no-man’s land between second base and centerfield. Span turned on the afterburners to charge the ball, calling off Orlando Hudson, who was racing back for it himself. Hudson couldn’t see Span waving him off because Hudson was looking back over his shoulder while running for the ball. I’m assuming the crowd noise drowned out the yo la tengo.
The result: Span’s left leg clipped Hudson’s right, sending both of them flying. Span caught the ball and came up holding his manly bits, but generally no worse for wear. Hudson stayed on the ground writing, having apparently hurt his hand. Check it out here. Hudson had X-rays after the game, but the results won’t be known until today.
The Morales injury has managers reconsidering post-victory celebrations today. No word on whether the Hudson injury will have managers re-thinking game-winning catches.
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.