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.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.