Max Scherzer came back from his brief demotion to Triple-A pitching like a new man and fortunately for the Tigers it looks like Rick Porcello is following in his footsteps.
Optioned to Triple-A over the weekend after following up his strong rookie season by going 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA in 13 starts this year, Porcello tossed eight innings of one-hit ball last night against the Reds’ affiliate.
He was facing a lineup that included quality prospects Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier, and Juan Francisco along with former big leaguers Chris Burke, Wladimir Balentien, and Ryan Hanigan, so the outing is fairly impressive. He managed just three strikeouts, but handed out only one walk and induced 15 ground-ball outs.
Here’s what he said afterward:
I think it’s good for me to come down here and work on a couple of things and get some confidence. I had a pretty good sinker tonight and a good slider. It was a pretty effective mix of pitches. I’m just trying to work on my slider and try to shorten it up a bit and throw it consistently for strikes down in the zone. I felt comfortable with it tonight. That’s pretty much what they wanted me to come down here and work on. That and to keep my sinker down in the zone.
Scherzer’s demotion lasted all of two starts and he has a 3.48 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 31 innings since returning, so Porcello may not be long for Toledo.
In addition to naming the Spink Award winner this morning, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted today to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with next year’s vote for the 2018 induction class.
As of now, writers are encouraged to make their votes public and, if they do, they are placed on the BBWAA website. They are not required to, however, and a great many Hall of Fame voters do not. While ballot secrecy is laudable in politics, the Hall of Fame vote brings with it a fundamentally different set of concerns and sentiment has increasingly favored transparency, as opposed to secrecy when it comes to the Hall of Fame.
While some in opposition to this move may claim that public ballots will only lead to criticism, our view is that if you can’t handle some reasonable criticism over your Hall of Fame ballot, you probably need to get out of the business of making history, which is what voting for the Hall of Fame really is.
RE2PECT: The Yankees just announced that they will retire Derek Jeter’s number 2 next season. The ceremony will take place on May 14, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.
With Jeter’s number 2 retired the Yankees will have retired 21 numbers. Twenty-two if you count number 8 twice, given that it was retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. They also have retired 42 twice, once for Jackie Robinson, which every team has retired, and once for Mariano Rivera who donned 42 before the league-wide retirement of the number. The Yankees will also have put every single-digit number on the shelf. Except for zero, anyway, which no Yankees player has ever worn.
The retired pinstripes break down as follows:
1 Billy Martin
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Yogi Berra
8 Bill Dickey
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford
20 Jorge Posada
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams