Phil Hughes could finish the season with the best K/BB ratio in MLB history

14 Comments

Twins right-hander Phil Hughes has thrived with a change of scenery this season and he could finish the year with a place in MLB history.

Hughes struck out five and walked none while allowing four runs over seven innings in a no-decision against the Indians last night. He now owns a 3.61 ERA over 31 starts this season to go along with an absurd 181/16 K/BB ratio over 201 2/3 innings. That gives him 11.31 strikeouts for every walk, which would beat Bret Saberhagen (1994) for the single-season record.

If you look at the list on Baseball Reference (which still has Hughes at the top) you’ll see a lot of names from the late 1800s, so here’s a look at where he stands among qualified starters since 1901:

11.3 – Phil Hughes (2014)
11.0 – Bret Saberhagen (1994)
10.3  – Cliff Lee (2010)
9.6 – Curt Schilling (2002)
8.9 – Pedro Martinez (2000)
8.9 – Greg Maddux (1997)
8.5 – Pedro Martinez (1999)
8.3 – Ben Sheets (2004)
7.9 – Carlos Silva (2005)
7.9 – Greg Maddux (1995)

Some amazing company there. It’s worth noting that Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma currently has 7.89 strikeouts for every walk while Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is at 7.35 and David Price has 7.08. In case you haven’t noticed, pitching is dominating this season.

Hughes can finish off the record when he makes one final start next week against the Diamondbacks at home.

Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly agree to 4-year deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SAN DIEGO – The active Philadelphia Phillies added Taijuan Walker to their rotation on Tuesday, agreeing to a $72 million, four-year contract with the right-hander.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

It was the second major free-agent score for the Phillies at the winter meetings after they reeled in shortstop Trea Turner on Monday with a $300 million, 11-year deal. Walker and Turner join a Phillies team that made it to the World Series this year before losing to the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts this season for the New York Mets, one of Philadelphia’s biggest NL East rivals. He slots into a rotation fronted by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies recently lost pitcher Zach Eflin in free agency to Tampa Bay.

Asked about the market for Walker earlier in the day, agent Scott Boras said it was robust.

“As you can see in the marketplace, there’s a whole number of pitchers that are throwing 60 and 70 innings that have been pursued, probably with the exception of (Jacob) deGrom, at the lower end of threshold around $13-15 million a year because the demand for quality pitching is so great,” Boras said.

“So, Tai … is one of the younger ones, one of the more durable ones and we expect him to be pursued greatly as his market unfolds.”

Walker was selected by Seattle with the No. 43 pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2013.

Walker signed with New York as a free agent in February 2021. He turned down a $7.5 million player option last month in favor of a $3 million buyout, making his deal worth $17 million over two seasons.

The 6-foot-4 Walker made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021, putting together a fast start before fading to a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts.