Justin Grimm, Evan Gattis named rookies of the month for April

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And finally:

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Justin Grimm has been voted American League Rookie of the Month for April. This marks the second consecutive April that a Ranger has garnered top rookie honors after teammate Yu Darvish won in April 2012. Grimm compiled a 2-0 record with a 1.59 ERA, 15 strikeouts and four walks in 17.0 innings over three starts. Justin was tied for first among A.L. rookie hurlers in wins and was fourth in innings pitched. Opponents batted just .239 against him.

And:

Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis has been voted the National League Rookie of the Month for the month of April. In 21 April contests, Gattis led Major League rookies with six home runs, 16 RBI, a .566 slugging percentage and 43 total bases while hitting .250 (19-for-76). The 26-year-old, who was selected by the Braves in the 23rd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, ranked third among qualifying N.L. rookies in hitting, was tied for second with nine runs scored and was fourth in hits. Gattis led all rookies with a club-high five game-winning RBI in his first month in the Majors

And neither of them woulda likely seen the light of day if it weren’t for injuries. So, thanks Matt Harrison and Brian McCann!

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.