Just thought it worthwhile to check in on the continuing domination of Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers’ super rookie. Last night: 3 for 4, as he raises his batting average to a cool .500 to go along with an on base percentage of .515 and a slugging of .938.
Downside: his early success has led Don Mattingly to move him to the cleanup spot, which meant that he was on deck during the Dodgers’ would-be ninth inning rally last night rather than a part of it. Of course he can’t be everywhere and at some point Nick Punto and Mark Ellis have to hit. Which is pretty much why the Dodgers are where they are this season, frankly.
Only one walk so far for Puig. One wonders if that will increase now that he’s farther down in the lineup. Or if teams are simply going to start throwing him garbage all the time to see if he chases it.
The Orioles don’t yet have the worst record in baseball. They’re tied for the most losses with 16, but they have two more wins than the Marlins and one more than the Royals, so let’s say that they have overachieved to this point. Kudos to being a bit plucky in the early going!
But make no mistake: the Orioles are not a good team and I suspect they will soon be the worst in the league. When they are, they will likely get blown out quite often and when they are blown out they will put position players on the mound more than almost any other team. Heck, they’ve done it three times already this year and the season is only three weeks old.
The latest Orioles position player to pitch was catcher Jesús Sucre, who took the mound in last night’s 12-2 loss to the White Sox. And he wasn’t half bad! He retired the side in order and needed only nine pitches to do so:
There once was a time when it was a novelty to see a position player pitching. It happens all the time now, partially because of blowouts, partially because teams have decided it’s better to get embarrassed a bit than to burn a bullpen arm in a game they’ve given up trying to win.
I suspect the Orioles will take the practice to a whole new level in 2019, though. For better or for worse.