And he doesn’t mean on one of them fancy Nomar Garciaparra one day contracts, neither:
“They know what my feelings are about staying around and playing here
and hanging them up with the Red Sox. It’s not like I’m planning to
retire right now, but you know what I’m saying . . . This is home to me.
I’ve been in this organization for years and I’ve been well known here. I
understand when you’ve got to go somewhere else. This is about
producing. That’s why I’ve been here all these years. That’s what I do.
That’s sweet and everything, but here’s how this thing is gonna go: Ortiz is going to make noises about wanting his $12.5 million option picked up. The team isn’t even going to consider it. When the team comes back with an offer — think $5 million or a bit more — Ortiz will balk and enter the market.
I’m sure the Red Sox are pleased that the reports of Ortiz’s death were exaggerated, but that doesn’t mean that they’re willing to take that kind of chance again. If he’s to stay in Boston it will be on a year-to-year basis for lowish money.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.