I suppose this was inevitable. When you tire of superlatives to describe Stephen Strasburg’s game, you go contrary and try to find a fault. And I suppose there are faults to be found, because no pitcher is perfect. But this one from Tom Boswell of the Washington Post seems like a bit of a stretch:
Relax, all right? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are
boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls – it’s
OK, that’s me paraphrasing, but that’s basically what he’s saying. Too many of his outs are by strikeout, more strikeouts usually leads to more pitches, and more pitches are bad for the Savior.
I guess I’m having a hard time seeing the problem as long as his pitch counts are monitored and as long as he doesn’t appear to be altering his approach to a given hitter in an effort to simply get more strikeouts for their own sake. But hey, if they can’t hit the ball, what’s the harm in letting him throw it by them?
And lest we forget, Strasburg’s first two starts came against Cleveland and Pittsburgh. I have this feeling that his future opponents will manage a little more contact off the kid.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.