Won’t someone think of Mark Buehrle’s pit bulls?


I’m a lot more sympathetic to the Miami Marlins fans out there than I am to the players who got traded — hey, that’s baseball, even if it’s unexpected in the case of the Marlins-Blue Jays trade. But it’s not as if the players don’t have some amount of hardship here too. JJ Stankevitz of CSNChicago.com flags one:

From a personal standpoint, there’s already one problem with Buehrle being shipped to Toronto … Ontario doesn’t allow pit bulls, and Buehrle and his family own a two-year-old of which they’re fond. There was an easy solution to getting around the Dade County (where Miami is located) ban on pit bulls — move to Broward county, just north of Miami.

I’m sure he’ll figure out what to do with the dog. And the higher tax bracket and all of that.  But it is the kind of annoyance that players don’t like to deal with. And don’t think they have to deal with less than a year after signing a long-term deal someplace.


Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

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Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.

But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.

To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).

According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.