Fernando Martinez gets MVP of Caribbean Series

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Over the weekend D.J. Short wrote a lengthy, interesting article about whether or not the Mets have rushed Fernando Martinez’s development. I think the answer is a resounding “yes,” but you should definitely read his piece and decide for yourself.
As a follow-up to that, Martinez was named MVP of the Caribbean Series after hitting .348 with two homers on the Dominican Republic’s championship run. “This is very emotional,” Martinez told MLB.com. “To be able to contribute to the Dominican Republic team is something you dream about as a child. This is a wonderful feeling. I don’t have the words.”
That will no doubt get the hype machine going again, but a) his MVP-winning performance consisted of a mere 23 at-bats, and b) as D.J. points out the best thing for Martinez at this point would probably be to spend all of this season at Triple-A.
He’s never really been both healthy and productive at one level for more than half a season, yet is still just 21 years old and hopefully won’t be pressed into duty for the Mets with Jason Bay, Jeff Francoeur, Gary Matthews Jr., Angel Pagan, and (eventually) Carlos Beltran around.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.