Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus has done the dirty work: he has sifted through the 2,400+ major league games of the 2011 season and has determined which of those games was the absolute worst.
Maybe the picture here spoils it, at least for Tigers and Giants fans who might remember it, but the real value of this article is (a) how he describes the game; and (b) the methodology he employed to identify it. Can’t agree more with Sam regarding what makes a bad game a bad game and what can redeem an otherwise bad game, saving it from consideration for the worst or the worst.
I’m just sort of bummed that the game took place on a Saturday. Kept me from saying something pithy about it in an “And That Happened” post. Because as you all know, ugly games are way more fun to riff on.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.