I’ve been watching baseball for around 35 years. I’ve been watching it closely and obsessively for most of that time. Given our prejudices which favor recency over memory, I’m willing to admit that, perhaps, I have seen a throw better than Yoenis Cespedes’ throw in last night’s A’s-Angels game. But if I have, I simply can’t think of one.
Eighth inning, Howie Kendrick on first base. Mike Trout doubles to left field. Cespedes goes to retrieve it but he misplays it, it kicks off his glove and rolls to the wall going down the left field line. Kendrick is on his horse, rounds third and heads for home. Then:
That’s probably 300 feet on the fly, in high arc but coming straight down into Derek Norris’ glove. The umps reviewed. Officially to see if the tag was made and/or the plate blocked. Unofficially: because the video guys in New York just wanted to see the throw again. I assume, anyway.
Someone will find some old video of a Vlad Guerrero or a Dave Parker or a Bo Jackson throw today that they will claim featured a better throw than the one Cespedes uncorked. And, as these things go, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’ll take some pretty impressive old video, however, to get me to say this one wasn’t the best.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Twins have picked up free agent left-hander Martín Pérez on a one-year deal. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be announced, but it looks like a club option is included for the 2020 season. The Twins have not officially confirmed the signing.
Pérez, 27, missed 85 days of the Rangers’ 2018 campaign after undergoing elbow surgery on his non-throwing arm. He sustained the injury partway through the 2017 offseason; as the story goes, he was charged by a bull at his ranch in Venezuela and fell on his right arm as he was trying to get out of the animal’s path. (He later killed and ate said bull.) When he finally returned to the mound, he cobbled together a 2-7 record in 15 starts with a 6.22 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 5.5 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR through 85 1/3 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.
As they approach the start of the 2019 season, the Twins will be looking for something a little more, well, bullish from Pérez. Prior to his injury, he turned in two solid seasons with the Rangers in 2016 and 2017, nearing the 200-inning threshold in both campaigns and providing a combined value of 4.2 fWAR at a time when Texas’ starters collectively ranked sixth-worst in the league.