Mike Trout isn’t the fastest man in baseball because that honor likely goes to Reds prospect Billy Hamilton, but the Angels phenom is still pretty damn fast.
How fast, exactly? Last night Trout beat out a bunt down the third base line despite Twins third baseman Danny Valencia playing him to bunt and did so while getting to first base in ridiculous time.
Angels third base coach Dino Ebel times runners with a stop watch and told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that Trout went from the batter’s box to first base in 3.53 seconds.
That’s insanely fast for a right-handed hitter and as Saxon notes the legend of a young, Trout-aged Mickey Mantle included him getting to first base in 3.5 seconds from the right side of the plate.
Prior to being called up last week Trout stole 57 bases per 150 games in the minors along with hitting .342. Oh, and he’s 20 years old.
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.