Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish first reported this as a possibility and now Jordan Bastian of MLB.com says it’s done: the Indians have traded 1B/OF Brandon Moss to the Cardinals for pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky.
The Cardinals were looking for a corner guy to help fill the void left my Matt Holliday’s return to the disabled list. Moss fits that description, and is the lefty bat the Cards were looking for as well. The bat has not hit too well this year — he’s hitting just .217/.208/.487 this season and perversely, is hitting lefties better than righties — but he has a line of .254/.340/.504 over the previous three years.
And of course, the Cardinals and their devil magic tend to turn everyone into a near-superstar as soon as they’re acquired. If they didn’t get Moss they could’ve probably signed Will Clark out of retirement again and have him hit .280/.340/.500. That’s just how they roll.
As for Kaminsky, he was a first round pick in 2013 wand was the Tribe’s number five prospect coming into the season, at least as far as Baseball America went. He turns 21 in September and is 14-10 with a 2.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 186/68 in 217 minor league innings. He’s finishing up the year at high-A in the Florida State League.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.