Not gonna say that (a) I’ve tuned out of the Mets season entirely; or (b) that I don’t watch the Brewers all that much, but I forgot for a minute there that Neil Walker had even been traded. But yep, he was traded to Milwaukee a month ago today along with cash for a player to be named later.
Today that player was named: it’s righty minor leaguer Eric Hanhold.
Hanhold was a sixth-round pick in 2015. He posted a 3.94 ERA and 60/21 K/BB ratio over 64 innings with High-A Carolina this season. That makes [mashes hands on calculator] approximately 359 relievers the Mets have acquired in the past couple of months, in some seeming obsession of Sandy Alderson to answer the question, “what if they made the WHOLE PLANE baseball team out of relief pitchers?”
Anyway, Neil Walker has hit .268/.388/.465 in 23 games with the Brewers, who are still very much in the NL Central race.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.