Incredibly, it took 30 days after Jered Weaver won his sixth gave for a major league pitcher to pick up his seventh win this season. And the guy who did it was winless through three starts.
Jon Lester cruised through six scoreless innings in Boston’14-2 rout of the Indians on Wednesday to become the first pitcher to win seven games this year.
It definitely is oddly late in the season for the league leader to just be getting his seventh win. Ubaldo Jimenez already had eight wins by this time last year. In 2009, Roy Halladay had eight by May 25. In 2008, Brandon Webb had nine on this date and both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Joe Saunders had eight.
Weaver, who moved to 6-0 on April 25, seemed poised to have at least eight or nine already, but he’s gone 0-4 in his last five starts. Trevor Cahill and Max Scherzer both already had two chances to win their seventh games but came up short (or, actually, their offenses did).
Lester has gone 7-0 in his last eight starts since opening the season 0-1 in three outings.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.
Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.
Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.
Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.