Mike Trout hit another home run on Saturday afternoon, driving a Tim Hudson pitch out to left-center at AT&T Park with the bases empty. Trout now has six home runs on the season along with 15 RBI, six stolen base, and a .325/.436/.614 triple-slash line.
The 2012 AL Rookie of the Year and 2014 AL MVP is a nightmare for most pitchers in baseball. Of the 13 pitchers he’s faced 20 or more times, only Hisashi Iwakuma, Dallas Keuchel, and Sonny Gray have held him to an OPS below .800.
Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez was wrapping his final year in baseball, with the Phillies, at the time Trout was drafted in 2009 so the two never faced each other. Martinez explained on Twitter earlier how he’d approach Trout if was asked to:
Everytime Super Man Trout gets a hold of a low and in pitch, he crashes the ball.
The high fastball was famously identified as a problem for Trout last season, when he struck out at a career-high rate of 26 percent. Trout made adjustments, though, so it’s not surprising Martinez is thinking one step ahead.
Martinez vs. Trout would have been a terrific match-up to watch. Though Trout arguably deserves two more MVP awards, Martinez probably would have the edge considering what he did to a murder’s row of hitters in the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park.
MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.
Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.