Yesterday we ripped into John Feinstein’s stupid and evidence-free column in which he argued that the Nats missing the playoffs in 2013 was directly attributable to the Nats shutting down Stephen Strasburg in 2012. Someone asked Davey Johnson what he thought of it:
“I say he’s an idiot,” Johnson said. “You do what is best for the day. I live by that rule, and Mike Rizzo lives by that rule …”
He did, however, say that he figured the Nats 2012 chances would have been improved by having Strasburg around:
Then Johnson was asked whether the Nats would have beaten the Cardinals in the NLDS had Strasburg been available. “Probably,” the manager said.
I kinda think that too, as do many others. And it is notable to hear Johnson say it. But it still does nothing to support the idea that the Nats 2013 woes are attributable to it.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.