It’s not easy being a Phillies fan at the moment. The team keeps losing, half the infield is injured and your manager is doing crazy stuff like naming Omar Infante and Ryan Howard to the All-Star team instead of Joey Votto. Chaos, basically.
Then you have to wake up on a fine Monday morning and read that your team is seriously considering a trade for the Royals’ Willie Bloomquist.
Look, I like Willie Bloomquist in a Jose Oquendo kind of way. He plays every position. He’s also fast and is, by all accounts a nice guy. But the man has zero pop and at his best — his absolute best — he’s a poor on-base guy. Useful? I guess he is inasmuch as his versatility could help prevent a forfeit if the rest of the team suffers from some staggered food poisoning event or something. But really, he’s like a Swiss Army knife with three dull blades, rusty scissors and a broken corkscrew. He does a million things, only none of them well.
Chase Utley is going to be gone for a long time. Placido Polanco is still out. At the moment the Phillies are running out a handful of career minor leaguers out there in their place. Just because the Mariners and Royals were too dumb to realize that Bloomquist should have spent more time at AAA doesn’t make him any different.
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.
Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.
Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.
None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.