Sherman: Joe Girardi is evasive, paranoid and edgy


Joel Sherman of the New York Post took a section of his Yankees scouting
report today to pass along some observations about Joe Girardi:

It is amazing how often scouts noted the look and body language of
Girardi. He
ended up being portrayed as something akin to a prisoner of war, going
gaunt and fidgety. He showed his dejection at bad moments much more
overtly than last year. In fact, after seemingly making some strides
last season in de-stressing his uptight persona, Girardi regressed to
the evasive, paranoid and edgy nature that marked his first year
managing the Yankees in 2008  . . Girardi tends to display his tension and short temper at the hottest moments.

Of course, why this is in a playoff preview is an open question, because none of those are observations* about how the guy runs his baseball team. How can you say anyone is “edgy, paranoid or evasive” based on the tactical decisions he makes or the lineup card he fills out? You can’t. All of those observations are things you can only get from talking to a person or, at the very least, watching him in a press conference.

In other words, Sherman has devoted a section of his “Scouting Report” of the Yankees’ playoff prospects to bashing Girardi because he hasn’t been as friendly and forthcoming with the media in 2010 as he was in 2009. Interesting choice, but pretty beside the point in a playoff preview, wouldn’t you agree?

*And these observations are attributed to “scouts.” Of course, reporters have been citing anonymous “scouts” to give them cover for their own opinions for years. Or, as would seem to be going on in this case, find a way to shoehorn a personal swipe at Girardi into a scouting piece.

(thanks to TYU for the heads up)

Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

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 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.