In this morning’s recaps I expressed surprise that the Mets four-game sweep of the Pirates was the first time they had swept a four-game series in four years. Reader The Dangerous Mabry tells me that I shouldn’t have been so shocked:
The four game sweep thing only seems like a meaningful stat. The mighty New York Yankees, who win a hell of a lot of baseball games, have swept exactly one four-game series in the past four seasons. Same as the (seemingly) lowly Mets. Given the relative scarcity of four game sets, as well as the overall winning percentage of baseball teams and the variance in starting pitching quality, it’s not that surprising. But
it sure does sound bad.
UPDATE: Many readers have pointed out that the fact about the Yankees is simply false — they swept the A’s in a four-gamer just two weeks ago. My laziness for letting that by is pretty inexcusable, really.
But yeah, the fact that there aren’t a ton of four-game series anymore is something that should have occurred to me when I wrote that. That’s what I get for punting the writeups until the morning they publish rather than getting a jump-start on them the evening before. Less time to, you know, think.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.
Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 and now we know why. He injured his right elbow and both hips falling in the shower three weeks ago, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He has had anti-inflammatory shots applied in both areas and he’ll be be shut down from pitching for a few more days.
Iglesias might not be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Bryan Price. Iglesias, however, thinks otherwise. He said, “I’m going to be OK. I’m probably going to throw one bullpen, and after that, mentally and physically, I’ll be ready to join the season and compete.”
Price said throughout the offseason that he intended to pick his closer according to the matchups rather than naming one official closer. As a result, this injury likely doesn’t change much except that Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen, and Tony Cingrani may get a few more early season save chances if Iglesias doesn’t start the season on time.
Iglesias, 27, finished last season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings across five starts and 32 relief appearances.