In light of the Carlos Gonzalez/Coors Field hate, Dave Krieger of the Denver Post says the following:
one thing for baseball experts to penalize Carlos Gonzalez in the
National League MVP race because he plays half his games at Coors Field.
It’s quite another not to reward Ubaldo Jimenez in the Cy Young race
for exactly the same reason . . . As the days of summer
dwindle down and the eastern experts handicap baseball’s awards, you can
count on two things: Coors Field will be prominently mentioned in the
MVP race, devaluing
CarGo’s numbers, though he’s contending for the Triple Crown. And it
will get no mention whatsoever in the Cy Young race. Instead, Jimenez’s
candidacy will be devalued by his failure to maintain the pace that had
him at 15-1 at the all-star break.
It’s a pretty fair point. Jimenez’s home/road splits should be acknowledged. Let’s acknowledge them:
On the road Jimenez has a 2.30 ERA and a WHIP of 1.052 (at home he’s a
at 3.35 and 1.263). His strikeout rates are pretty similar at home and
on the road. He actually walks fewer in Coors. He’s given up the same
number of home runs at home and on the road, but he has allowed 17 more
hits in two fewer home starts. It’s a big outfield there in Denver.
I haven’t analyzed the NL Cy Young race all that much yet, but my gut has me thinking Roy Halladay would be my choice. Let’s check his splits out:
Halladay has an identical road WHIP as Jimenez and a
higher ERA (2.72). He has thrived in Citizens Bank Park, however,
posting a 2.12 ERA and a 1.048 WHIP. He strikes out more guys and walks
fewer guys on the road. Halladay has five fewer road starts than home
starts but has allowed only one less home run on the road.
Halladay and Jimenez aren’t the only two names to consider, of
course. Adam Wainwright has been a beast. Mat Latos has been excellent,
though in far fewer innings than the others. Josh Johnson was at least
in the conversation until he was shut down the other day. Tim Hudson
should be acknowledged. It’s not a two man race.
If you put a gun to my head right now I’d probably still choose Roy Halladay, but Krieger is right: if you’re going to penalize Carlos Gonzalez for Coors Field in the MVP race, you have to at least acknowledge that Ubaldo has to pitch in the joint when you’re thinking Cy Young.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.
The Red Sox inked Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract back in August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.