AL Cy Young Award on tap today

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This should be a no-brainer.  The only reason — and it’s not a good reason — that anyone would not have Zack Greinke listed #1 on their ballot is because they don’t think his 16 wins for an awful team are worth the 19 wins CC Sabathia, Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander posted for good teams.

Such a vote would have to come despite Greinke’s better ERA and better ratios. Such a vote would also have to ignore the fact that Greinke had four starts in which he got no decisions despite allowing zero runs or one run. Indeed, overall, Greinke averaged seven innings and an ERA of 2.35 in his nine no-decisions. He’d easily have 20 wins — and probably more — if he played for even a merely crappy team instead of that train wreck in Kansas City.  The upshot:  if Greinke doesn’t win the Cy Young Award today, we’ll be witnessing one of the larger miscarriages of justice in postseason awards history.

Beyond Greinke I put them in this order:  Felix Hernandez (great season, but behind Greinke everywhere that matters), Roy Halladay (ditto, but behind Hernandez), Justin Verlander (ERA too high for serious consideration) and CC Sabathia (a win for CC would be to give the CY Young to the Yankees lineup).

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.