Throughout baseball history, only two starting pitchers have tossed enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and finished a season with a strikeout-to-walk ratio in excess of 10: Bret Saberhagen in 1994 (11.00) and Cliff Lee in 2010 (10.28). With ten strikeouts and no walks in a complete game effort this evening against the Giants in the second half of a doubleheader, Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright pushed his K/BB to an even 14.00 (84/6) in 89 innings, which would easily set the Major League record if it holds — a huge if, of course.
Wainwright, who needed 106 pitches to get through nine innings in his league-leading third complete game, lowered his ERA to 2.33, helping the Cardinals sweep the doubleheader. The Cardinals have won nine of their last 11 games, improving their record to 37-18 as they remain atop the NL Central by two games over the Reds.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.