Justin Verlander

The year in shutouts

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I wanted to dig into scoreless games for a minute. Here’s a look at the teams throwing the most and fewest and then the teams that are on the other end.

Throwing shutouts

Most
Braves – 8
Brewers – 8
Phillies – 8
Rangers – 8
Tigers – 8
Mariners – 7

Fewest
Blue Jays – 1
Cubs – 1
Astros – 2
Reds – 2
Yankees – 2

Nothing seems especially out of place there, except maybe Detroit’s ranking. The Tigers are just 23rd in MLB in ERA. They do have Justin Verlander, of course, but he’s been on the mound for just two of the shutouts.

Getting shut out

Most
Padres – 11
Angels – 9
Nationals – 9
Pirates – 8
Athletics – 7
Indians – 7

Fewest
Astros – 1
Diamondbacks – 1
Blue Jays – 2
Mariners – 2
Orioles – 2
Rangers – 2
Reds – 2
Tigers – 2

Ah, yes, the Padres. That was my reason for pulling up the numbers in the first place. Baseball’s lowest scoring team has been shut out 11 times. But not making the list were the Giants. They’ve scored just six more runs than the Padres this season (230 to 224), but they’ve only been shut out six times.

Seeing Houston on the second list is a something of a shocker. The Astros rank 18th in MLB scoring at 262 runs, but they always manage at least one or two runs per game. The Red Sox, who lead the majors with 350 runs, have already been shut out five times, while the Yankees, in second with 330 runs, have been held scoreless four times.

Corey Dickerson has lost 25 pounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Corey Dickerson #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.

Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!