White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen heaped some heavy praise on Stephen Strasburg after the rookie sensation struck out 10 over seven innings of one-run ball on Friday night (via Elliott Smith of the Daily Herald).
“When you’ve got that kind of arm and you throw pitches for strikes,
obviously you’re going to be a top pitcher no matter what,” Guillen
said. “I think he’s maybe the best pitcher in the NL. Much respect,
because (Roy) Halladay is out there. I’ve never seen the kid from San
Francisco (Tim Lincecum) throw, (Johan) Santana’s out there, but this
kid is legit.”
Hey Ozzie, that Ubaldo Jimenez guy isn’t too bad, either. Still, it’s hard to blame him for getting caught up in the hysteria.
Strasburg has fanned 32 of the 72 batters (44 percent) he has faced in the major leagues and with that, he is already tied for third on the team in strikeouts. Seriously. For the sabermetric set, Strasburg has an xFIP (Expected Fielding Independent Pitching) of 1.44. As Larry David would say, that’s “pretty, pretty, pretty good.”
The Yankees interviewed Aaron Boone for their managerial vacancy on Friday, and today it was Chris Woodward’s turn. That makes at least five interviews since the offseason began, and Woodward’s likely won’t be the last.
Like fellow candidate Eric Wedge, whom the Yankees interviewed just last week, Woodward has never played or coached for the club. He spent the majority of his 12-year career with the Blue Jays and picked up brief stints with the Mets, Braves, Mariners and Red Sox before returning to Toronto for his final season in 2011. Following retirement, he served as the Mariners’ minor league infield coordinator and infield and first base coach from 2012-2015. During the 2015 offseason, he jumped over to the National League to work with the Dodgers as a third base coach, and saw his first postseason run since the Mets lost to the Dodgers in the 2006 NLDS.
While Woodward has yet to manage at the major league level, he was named manager of the New Zealand national team during the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifiers. It’s certainly conceivable that the Yankees would prefer a candidate with significant experience leading a major league team, but right now the only person who fits that bill is Eric Wedge — and, well, it’s Eric Wedge.