Buster Olney asks an odd question

20 Comments

I’m guessing this is Buster Olney trying to add to the whole pitching to the score/pitcher wins/Cy Young/Jack Morris debate.  But since it’s Buster Olney, it doesn’t make all that much sense.

The tweet:

A question for anyone who thinks pitchers don’t make decisions according to the score: please explain timing of intentional walks.

OK.

1. Pitchers don’t call for intentional walks.  The bench calls for intentional walks.  At best, the pitcher might have some influence over the decision following a trip to the mound.

2. The intentional walk is simply a maneuver used by a team in an attempt to hurt the other team’s chance of scoring one or more runs (usually one).  At least, that’s the idea anyway.  Teams issue them when they’re ahead, when they’re behind and when they’re tied, simply because the whole idea is that it’ll hurt the other team’s chances of scoring.

Anyway, I’m not sure what Olney hoped to add to the debate here.  Besides, no one has ever said pitchers don’t acknowledge the score when they pitch.  Many of us just don’t think it makes any real difference at all.  The great pitchers tend to be just as great whether they have one or eight runs to work with.

Padres to recall Luis Urías

Luis Urias
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Padres are set to recall top infield prospect Luis Urías from Triple-A El Paso, according to a report from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’ll be the second such stint for the club’s no. 2 prospect, and one they hope to extend through the end of the season. A corresponding roster move will be announced later this weekend.

Urías, 22, struggled in his first promotion to the majors this April. Touted as “one of the Minors’ better pure hitters” with “innate bat-to-ball skills” and “plus on-base skills,” he found it difficult to adjust to big league pitching and slashed a lackluster .083/.241/.125 with just two hits and four walks over 11 games with the Padres.

Upon his return to Triple-A, however, the young middle infielder has delivered nothing short of spectacular results, batting .315/.398/.600 with 19 home runs, seven stolen bases (in nine chances), and a .998 OPS across 339 plate appearances. Given the additional measures he’s taken to improve his mechanics — something, Acee says, the Padres are far more interested in than his results at the plate — it seems he may be ready to handle the competition at the highest level on a long-term basis.

Urías is expected to be recalled in time for the Padres’ game against the Cubs on Saturday, where he’ll likely share the middle infield with fellow top prospect Fernando Tatís. The game is set for 2:20 PM EDT.