We heard this morning that the Astros are asking for the moon for Roy Oswalt. I thought that was crazy, but it’s not much crazier than what the Cardinals are offering. From Jayson Stark:
Heard from one source that the two major-league players St. Louis told Houston it would deal for Oswalt are John Jay and Brendan Ryan.
Jay is an interesting player if for no other reason than that he’s lit it up in limited play this season, but he is likely a fourth outfielder type at best based on what I’ve seen in various prospect reports over the past year or so (Cards fans can correct me if I’m way off here). Ryan? If he went to Houston it would be a benefit to the Cardinals, not a loss.
The talks are interesting, and of course, Roy Oswalt’s stated preference to go to the Cardinals matters, but really, if this is the current state of things between the Cards and the Astros, I have no idea how a deal gets done.
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.