The following passage on a couple of free agent pitchers is from Buster Olney’s ESPN Insider column Saturday:
[Anibal] Sanchez could get anywhere from $30 million to $60 million as a free agent, some agents and executives predict, and Kyle Lohse could get a deal in the $77.5 million range, as C.J. Wilson did last winter.
Does that read completely backwards to anyone else? I’m thinking Lohse may get anywhere from $30 million-$60 million this winter, while Sanchez could well be in that $77.5 million range.
Sanchez is going to pitch next year at 29. Lohse is 34. Here are their numbers from the last three years:
Sanchez: 3.70 ERA, 109 ERA+, 526/182 K/BB ratio in 587 IP
Lohse: 3.76 ERA, 101 ERA+, 308/115 K/BB ratio in 491 1/3 IP
Lohse was the better of the two this year, but he’s the older of the two by 5 1/2 years, his peripherals aren’t very impressive and he’ll be leaving St. Louis. The history of pitchers who had their careers turned around by Dave Duncan and then left for more money is quite bleak.
It’s possible Lohse could get the bigger deal of the two, but I really doubt it. With the way he’s pitched in the postseason, Sanchez looks like the pretty clear No. 2 free agent starter behind Zack Greinke now. Lohse, Jake Peavy and Edwin Jackson are among those trailing behind him. I’m not going to include Hiroki Kuroda anywhere in that mix, since he’s just going to want a one-year deal to pitch somewhere he’s comfortable.
Earlier, Craig wrote about the negative reaction within the Phillies’ clubhouse after outfielder Odubel Herrera A) flipped his bat on a fly out, and B) failing to run out a dropped third strike. Manager Pete Mackanin was one of Herrera’s critics, unsurprisingly, but so was catcher Cameron Rupp.
Via the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb, Rupp said that the Phillies’ frustration with Herrera is “not a secret.” He said, “Pete is the manager and what he asks us to do, we’re supposed to do. It’s a team thing and one guy can’t just not follow the rules. It’s not the first time. It has happened before and that’s something we don’t want to see. We want him in the game. He’s a good player. It’s hard for us. He’s a grown man. He has to learn on his own. We can only say so much.”
Though Rupp didn’t directly say his criticism of Herrera pertained to bat flips, we can logically deduce it as such. Herrera doesn’t commonly fail to run out dropped third strikes, but he does commonly flip his bat, particularly on non-homers.
Rupp had a good game against the Astros on Wednesday night, blasting a pair of two-run home runs. The problem? Rupp flipped his bat. In a 9-0 game.
The MLB.com video doesn’t really give a chance to see the full extent of Rupp’s flip, so here’s a .gif from Chris Jones:
And just in case anyone feels I’m interpreting the situation through a biased lens, Phillies beat writer Ryan Lawrence of The Philly Voice also saw it the same way.
We should probably expect Mackanin to bench Rupp for the next two games like he did Herrera, right? What’s that, you say? Certain players were more likely to be criticized for expressing emotion and perceived lack of hustle? Really makes you think.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Nationals will call up top pitching prospect Erick Fedde to start in place of Stephen Strasburg on Saturday. Strasburg left Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks due to “some nerve impingement.”
Fedde, 24, was the Nationals’ first-round selection (18th overall) in the 2014 draft. The right-hander is the No. 3 prospect in the Nationals’ system, according to MLB Pipeline. Between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse, Fedde has a 3.72 ERA with a 69/21 K/BB ratio in 77 1/3 innings.
The Nationals still seem hopeful that Strasburg won’t need a stint on the disabled list. Saturday, of course, will mark five games since his last start which happens to be half of the minimum disabled list stint. The Nationals could always DL him retroactive to Monday. (Update: The Nationals will indeed place Strasburg on the DL, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier.)