I just read that Travis Hafner was activated by the Yankees and I legitimately thought “wait, Travis Hafner still plays?” The stuff where he did moderately well for the Yankees for the first part of the season seemed like two years ago and I swore I remember an interview with him from this summer in which he talked about how he’s all about fishing and stuff now.
But he’s back. After missing action since July with a bum rotator cuff. For the year he’s at .205/.300/.384, which probably means you shouldn’t blink while he plays out the string in New York, because this is probably the last we’ll see of him.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”