Casey Kotchman sets defensive record for first basemen

4 Comments

Kotchman Mariners headshot.jpgI mentioned this in the recaps, but it deserves its own post: last night Casey Kotchman set the record for most consecutive defensive chances at first base without an error.  He’s at 2,008 after last night’s game.  The previous mark was Kevin Youkilis’ 2,002.  Youkilis still has the consecutive games streak at 238.  Kotchman has 230 straight error-free games.

It’s probably an open question whether Kotchman deserves to stick around to break the consecutive games record. He’s hitting .191/.273/.309.  For his career he’s a below-average major league hitter which makes him a profoundly substandard hitter for a first baseman.

Kudos on the defense, of course, but leather alone is not even a good reason to keep someone at shortstop anymore, let alone at first base.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
2 Comments

Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.