Mike Trout hit another home run on Saturday afternoon, driving a Tim Hudson pitch out to left-center at AT&T Park with the bases empty. Trout now has six home runs on the season along with 15 RBI, six stolen base, and a .325/.436/.614 triple-slash line.
The 2012 AL Rookie of the Year and 2014 AL MVP is a nightmare for most pitchers in baseball. Of the 13 pitchers he’s faced 20 or more times, only Hisashi Iwakuma, Dallas Keuchel, and Sonny Gray have held him to an OPS below .800.
Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez was wrapping his final year in baseball, with the Phillies, at the time Trout was drafted in 2009 so the two never faced each other. Martinez explained on Twitter earlier how he’d approach Trout if was asked to:
The high fastball was famously identified as a problem for Trout last season, when he struck out at a career-high rate of 26 percent. Trout made adjustments, though, so it’s not surprising Martinez is thinking one step ahead.
Martinez vs. Trout would have been a terrific match-up to watch. Though Trout arguably deserves two more MVP awards, Martinez probably would have the edge considering what he did to a murder’s row of hitters in the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park.
Giants starter Tim Hudson said in February that he was “definitely leaning” toward retiring at the end of the 2015 season. Hudson still has that same feeling three months later in this latest report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Hudson, 40 in July, would like to spend more time with his family. But his wife Kim said she wouldn’t try to influence her husband’s decision, and Tim wouldn’t rule out pitching in 2016 if he’s still healthy and productive. He signed a two-year, $23 million contract with the Giants in November 2013 and it expires after the season, which would make him a free agent.
Hudson has posted a 3.91 ERA with a 1.34 WHIP and a 13/7 K/BB ratio in 25 1/3 innings to begin the season. He’s scheduled to start next at home against the Angels on Saturday.
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle earned the 200th win of his career on Friday afternoon in a 12-5 victory over the Orioles. He is one of 116 pitchers in baseball history to have won at least 200 games. The lefty allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out two in six innings. He left with an 11-2 lead.
Buehrle, 36, has aged rather well. Since his age-30 season in 2009, the veteran has a 3.83 ERA in 1,243 innings. He’s Jamie Moyer-esque as he averages around 84 MPH on his fastball. Only teammate R.A. Dickey averaged a lower velocity on his fastball last season (82 MPH). Buehrle has succeeded over the years by working quickly — he and Dickey were baseball’s two fastest-working pitchers last year — and limiting walks.
Buehrle has also been durable, pitching 200-plus innings in every season dating back to 2001. He can become a free agent after the season and though he’ll be heading into his age-37 season, he should draw a fair amount of interest given his track record. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him pitch into his 40’s like Moyer.
If Buehrle is able to win at least 13 games this year as he has in five out of the last six seasons, he could finish the season just behind or tied with John Smoltz for 89th all-time on the wins leaderboard with 213. Among active pitchers Tim Hudson currently has the most career wins at 214. CC Sabathia has 208 and Bartolo Colon has 205.
As first reported by Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants have signed veteran right-hander Kevin Correia to a minor league contract.
He will join the rotation at Triple-A Sacramento.
Correia was released by the Mariners at the end of spring training after posting a 16.88 ERA in three Cactus League appearances. The 34-year-old will act as orgnizational rotation depth for the Giants, who badly need it now that Matt Cain is out indefinitely with another right elbow problem and Jake Peavy is sidelined with a back injury. Tim Hudson is no spring chicken either, and Tim Lincecum’s consistency issues are well-chronicled.
Correia posted an ugly 5.44 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and 79/40 K/BB ratio in 154 innings last season between the Twins and Dodgers. He began his career with San Francisco back in 2003 and spent six full seasons there.