I was watching the Angels-Twins game last night when Minnesota television analyst Bert Blyleven advised Francisco Liriano to “throw the slider to this big donkey.”
Liriano obliged and Mark Trumbo hit the ball approximately 700 feet for a three-run homer.
It was Trumbo’s 21st homer, which ranks eighth in the AL and is very impressive pop from a rookie. On the other hand, Trumbo is old for a rookie at 25 and his power comes with a ghastly .297 on-base percentage and 80/19 K/BB ratio.
Trumbo is on pace to hit 30 homers with an on-base percentage below .300, which is something only 17 hitters in baseball history have accomplished. Actually, only 14 different hitters, since Dave Kingman did it four times. Here’s the list of 30-homer, sub-.300 OBP seasons during the past 20 years:
YEAR OBP HR
Mike Jacobs 2008 .299 32
Chris Young 2007 .295 32
Tony Batista 2004 .272 32
Jeromy Burnitz 2003 .299 31
Jose Valentin 2004 .287 30
Oddly, no one hit 30 homers with a sub-.300 OBP during the 1990s, but it happened five times in the 2000s and seven times in the 1980s.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.