The White Sox are interested in re-signing Freddy Garcia

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The White Sox have considered a few in-house options to fill the void in their starting rotation until Jake Peavy is ready to return from shoulder surgery. Now we can add another familiar face to the list.

Jon Heyman of SI.com reported earlier this afternoon that the club is considering re-signing free agent right-hander Freddy Garcia. White Sox general manager Ken Williams told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he hasn’t spoken with Garcia recently, nor has the club made a formal offer, but Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago has confirmed the team’s interest.

Padilla also hears that the Orioles and Yankees are still “considered to be interested” in Garcia, but that isn’t much different than what we heard early last week.

The 34-year-old Garcia went 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA over 28 starts with the White Sox last season. While he reached 157 innings for the first time since 2006, he struck out just 89 batters over 157 innings, averaging a career-low 5.10 K/9. For a guy who gives up nearly as many fly balls as he does grounders, that’s not all that promising.

While securing Garcia as an insurance policy makes some sense for the White Sox, the veteran right-hander would be squeezed out of a rotation spot once Peavy is ready to return, at least on paper. Of course, Garcia is related to White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen by marriage, so his comfort level with the club can’t be discounted.

A scout thinks the Astros strike out too much. The Astros have the lowest strikeout total in baseball.

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Great moments in scouting. MLB.com’s Richard Justice spoke to an unnamed scout about the Astros, currently holding the American League’s best record at 76-47. The scout said that the Astros strike out too much and it will catch up with them. Justice pointed out that the Astros have the lowest strikeout total in baseball. The scout responded, “I don’t believe that.”

Justice, of course, is correct. The average major league team has struck out 1,006 times entering Sunday’s action. The Astros have by far the lowest total at 827, followed by the Indians at 881 and the Pirates at 882.

This scout doesn’t represent all scouts, but this is one of the major problems that advocates of statistics were trying to highlight before Sabermetrics became popular a decade ago. It’s a pattern. Person believes thing. Person either cherry-picks evidence to defend belief or is shown evidence that belief is not factually true and ignores it. Person refuses to change belief, using one of many excuses.

The other problem this highlights is the fallacy of “the eye test,” which is shorthand for treating a scout’s observations as sacrosanct due to his or her experience and knowledge of the game. In this case, the scout ignored easily accessed information, went with his gut, and turned out to be completely wrong. Furthermore, if “the eye test” were legit, the scout would’ve known that, for example, Yulieski Gurriel and Jose Altuve hardly ever strike out (11.1 and 12.4 percent strikeout rates, respectively). In fact, no one on the Astros’ roster (min. 230 PA) has a strikeout rate above 21 percent; the league average is 21.5 percent.

This isn’t to impugn the practice of scouting as a whole. There are a lot of things scouts can tell you about a player that data cannot and that has value. But for easily-researched claims like “the Astros strike out too much,” there’s no reason to trust a scout over the stats.

Mets acquire Jacob Rhame from Dodgers

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The Mets acquired right-handed reliever Jacob Rhame from the Dodgers, the team announced on Sunday. Rhame is the player to be named later in the trade that sent outfielder Curtis Granderson to Los Angeles on Friday night. He’s expected to report to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.

Rhame, 24, pitched through his second Triple-A campaign with the Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2017, collecting two saves in 41 appearances and logging a 4.31 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 48 innings. While his ERA saw a sharp spike from its modest 3.29 mark in 2016 (perhaps thanks in part to a midseason DL stint due to an undisclosed injury), he’s controlling the ball better than he has in several years and has drawn some attention with a fastball that occasionally touches 98 MPH on the radar gun.

The Mets’ bullpen hasn’t been at its finest over the last few weeks, ranking 16th among its major league competitors with a collective 4.50 ERA and 2.4 fWAR, but likely isn’t looking to add an extreme fly ball pitcher to its staff just yet. Until he gets his big league break, Rhame will beef up Triple-A Vegas’ relief corps alongside fellow right-handers Yaisel Sierra, Joe Broussard and Josh Ravin.