Author: Bill Baer

Jordan Walden

Jordan Walden will miss the remainder of the season


Cardinals reliever will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. GM John Mozeliak said that the right-hander will have to endure a rigorous rehab to return to the mound if he chooses not to undergo surgery.

Walden, 27, has been out since late April due to a biceps injury he recently admitted is related to damage in his rotator cuff and labrum. He had posted a 0.87 ERA with a 12/4 K/BB ratio in 10 1/3 innings prior to the injury.

The Cardinals acquired Walden from the Braves along with outfielder Jason Heyward in last November’s trade which sent starter Shelby Miller and minor leaguer Tyrell Jenkins to Atlanta.

Joey Votto is having a monster second half

Joey Votto

Reds first baseman Joey Votto went 1-for-2 with three walks in Sunday’s 6-3 win at home against the Brewers. Getting on base four times in a game makes for a solid afternoon, but the performance is not typically newsworthy, particularly if it only involves a single and a trio of free passes.

Votto, however, has had an extraordinarily great second half of the season. Since July 17, the first game out of the All-Star break, he is hitting .401/.581/.730 with 14 doubles, 12 home runs, and 64 walks in 217 plate appearances. No one has been a better hitter in the second half than Votto and it’s not even close. Entering Sunday’s action, he had a .538 weighted on-base average (wOBA), a Sabermetric statistic that individually weights each of a player’s contributions on offense. The next-best is Edwin Encarnacion at .471. The difference between the two, in terms of runs, is between 10 and 11 runs, which translates to over one win. What that means is that, on offense alone, Votto has been a full win better than the second-best hitter in the second half. That’s absurd.

Overall, Votto has a .318/.462/.565 triple-slash line with 27 home runs, 70 RBI, and 85 runs scored. His .437 wOBA is second-best in baseball behind Bryce Harper’s .467. Votto is way ahead of Paul Goldschmidt at .414.

The National League MVP Award debate will likely boil down to Harper versus Zack Greinke. Votto, however, will be deserving of second- or third-place votes on the ballot in a season that has largely flown under the radar.

Matt Harvey: “I will pitch in the playoffs”

matt harvey getty

Mets starter Matt Harvey, responding to recent criticism over a cited 180-innings limit on the 2015 season, penned a column at The Players’ Tribune titled, “I Will Pitch in the Playoffs”.

Harvey hammers home that point, saying he will be “healthy, active, and ready to go,” assuring Mets fans the team won’t be without their ace should they reach the postseason. He writes:

I am communicating with my agent, my doctor, Sandy and the entire Mets organization. I can assure everyone that we’re all on the same page.

Together, we are coming up with a plan to reach an innings limit during the season. It will be a compromise between the doctors and the Mets organization to get me, and the team, to where we need to be for our postseason run.

Harvey has a 2.60 ERA with a 158/34 K/BB ratio over 166 1/3 innings this season. It would likely only take him two — and certainly three — more starts to reach that 180-innings limit.

The Mets lost 4-3 to the Marlins on Sunday. They will head to Washington, D.C. for a three-game series against the Nationals with a four-game first-place lead in the NL East.