There were some reporters who seemed to be throwing some shade on the notion that two kids — really, one was 13-year-old Devan Fink, one 18-year-old Robert Murray — broke the story of Billy Butler going the Oakland A’s yesterday. There was some minor grumbling about this information being “leaked” or what have you and how bad that all is. Of course, we never hear about how bad that is when established reporters get the same information from the same sorts of sources in the same way.
But such is the nature of transaction news. It is, by definition, single data point news that does not necessarily require reporting savvy and experience. It usually does, of course — you gotta get yourself into a place where people trust you with information — but it doesn’t have to. Sometimes people just hear things. And yes, that someone can be a 13-year-old kid if he’s in the right place at the right time. The key isn’t getting one scoop. It’s getting hundreds and hundreds of them over years.
It’s quite refreshing, then, to see Ken Rosenthal — a guy who feeds his family on the scoops he gets — having a great sense of humor about it all. He went on MLB Network and broke down how these kids scooped him. And he made it really fun:
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The key takeaway here: Rosenthal isn’t threatened by the competition, nor need he be. He’s Ken freakin’ Rosenthal, and I bet he knows more than anyone how random some of this info can be at times, even if he has figured out how to tame the randomness of the information market and turn it into a highly specialized skill.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.