David Freese exits Saturday with sprained ankle

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freese fielding.jpgCardinals rookie third baseman David Freese is off to an incredible start this season and is on a short list of early favorites for the National League’s Rookie of the Year award.  I’m under the belief that either Braves outfielder Jason Heyward or St. Louis lefty Jaime Garica would take the cake if the prize was awarded today.

Freese hit what could be his first road block on Saturday, when he suffered a right ankle sprain in an inter-division game against the Brewers.  The news comes to us via B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest.  Freese was replaced at third base by Aaron Miles, who rejoined the Cardinals this week after about 14 months away from the club.  Miles may get his first start of 2010 on Sunday with Felipe Lopez nursing a bruised finger.

Freese, a native St. Louisan, is batting .316 with a .385 on-base percentage and 32 RBI in only 52 games this season.  He’s considered “day-to-day,” at least for now.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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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.”