Strasburg to face the Royals today and no one is talking smack

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The Royals are up today for the surprisingly un-nicknamed Stephen Strasburg’s latest start. It’s a 4:30 start, which is kind of weird, but whatever.  The thing I’ve been looking forward to the most in Stephen Strasburg’s games has not been his actual performance (hint: he’s going to throw hard) but the article that shows up the morning of his performance in which the opposing team talks about what it’s going to be like to face him.

We have the Royals’ version of that today in the Kansas City Star. To be honest I was disappointed. I kind of liked when Delwyn Young talked smack about him before his debut.  All we get today is media-relations-office-approved “he’s good, but hopefully we can get a few good swings on him” stuff.  Boring.  Guess I’ll just have to watch the game.

One thought I had when I saw the matchup was that Strasburg may strike out a gajillion of those fundamentally un-sound Kansas City Royals. Sadly, I am once again disappointed inasmuch as it turns out that the Royals have only struck out a combined 386 times this year. Only one team — the White Sox — have struck out fewer times than the Royals have, so maybe they’ll be tougher.

Oh wait . . . Strasburg struck out ten White Sox in seven innings the last time out, didn’t he?

Gulp.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.