I’m still not sure what to make sure of these “Team X is scouting Player Y” reports we’ve seen so many of this summer, simply because we don’t really have a baseline for judging how much scouting happens in the normal course.
Maybe some teams have guys at everyone’s games, at least periodically, to fill out their Massive Scouting Database of Doom. Maybe if a team has a scout at a certain game they are looking at a different player than everyone thinks they’re looking at. Even if the reporter talks to a scout and asks him who he’s looking at, maybe the scout lies to create misinformation. I mean, scouting is recon, and why would a team want the other guys to know what they’re, um, reconning?
Which isn’t to say those “Team X is scouting Player Y” reports are wrong. I’ve been running them if they come from reporters who usually get things right. I just don’t know what to think about them yet. Maybe I’d feel better if the reporter were to actually say “a scout from Team X said he’s scouting Player Y.” That requires a lot more commitment on everyone involved. Maybe it makes no difference. I’m just thinking out loud here.
Anyway, Ed Price is one of those guys who usually get things right, so I’ll pass it along when he says things like the Mets are scouting the Orioles’ Jeremy Guthrie. I don’t think I buy his source who says that the Mets think Guthrie could be a better bet than Ted Lilly — or maybe the Mets do think that and they’re just crazy — but there you go.
For what it’s worth, Guthrie is 3-10 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 63/35 in 118 innings. He is not, in short, anything approaching a difference maker. But hey, maybe the scout has noticed that he’s tipping his pitches, which is another unverifiable thing that befuddles me almost as much as the “Team X is scouting Player Y” reports.