You know what I can’t wait for? I can’t wait for teams that ridiculously put promising young starting pitchers in the bullpen to start complaining about how they don’t have enough starting pitching. That’s what I can’t wait for.
In the meantime, the non-deluded teams out there realize that there isn’t anything as valuable as a solid starter. And this is brought home when they lose one, like the Braves might:
Right-hander Jair Jurrjens left his start against the Blue Jays after just one inning on Thursday afternoon because of discomfort in his right side. Jurrjens said the soreness originated near his rib cage, but was not related to his oblique muscle. He believed it was a cramp and that he could have continued pitching, but he left the game for precautionary reasons.
It doesn’t sound serious. And if it does — hey! — the Braves just sent down a guy who could do a pretty decent job of filling in if Jurrjens has to miss some time. He’s available as a starter, you see, because no one overthought things and convinced someone that he should be in the bullpen. Because the Braves understand that you can string together a bullpen if you have to, but that a young starting pitcher is a valuable asset.
And if you think I’m a bit animated about this, well, you’re right. Because I just wrote my damn Texas Rangers preview in which I pegged everything to Neftali Feliz starting the year in the rotation, and now the Rangers have gone and made that inoperative. Craigy isn’t big on timing. Craigy isn’t big on editing. Craigy is big on holding petty grudges, though, so yeah, I’m gonna stew for a while.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.
Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.
Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.
This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.
As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.