According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, reliever Vinnie Pestano lost his arbitration hearing against the Indians and will make a $975,000 salary this season.
Pestano, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter as a Super Two player, requested $1.4 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. After posting a 2.50 ERA over his first 142 appearances in the majors, the 28-year-old right-hander struggled to the tune of a 4.08 ERA in 37 games last year and walked 21 batters in 35 1/3 innings, so he didn’t have an especially strong case. Yesterday’s hearing was the first for the Indians since 1991.
Between Pestano and the Padres’ Andrew Cashner, we have already had two arbitration hearings this year in MLB. There weren’t any in 2013.
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.