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Chris Davis ties all-time Baltimore Orioles strikeout record


Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun alerted us to some history today. Seems that last night Orioles first baseman Chris Davis tied a franchise record. It’s a dubious one, however: most strikeouts, all time, by an Oriole. The record is, for a day at least, simultaneously held by Cal Ripken Jr. Both he and Davis have 1,305 strikeouts as a Baltimore Oriole.

While it sounds weird to say, it should not be surprising to observe that you have to be pretty good to set an all-time strikeout record. The top two on the list all-time — Reggie Jackson and Jim Thome — are Hall of Famers. Numbers four and five — Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez — deserve to be, even if they never get in. Numbers 8, 10, 12, 21 and 24 are Hall of Famers too. Number 14 is Derek Jeter, and he’ll be in Cooperstown one day.

The idea is that, to set such a record you have to be given the opportunity to whiff and you don’t get those opportunities if you stink. In this it’s sort of like losing 20 games as a pitcher (truly bad ones will be sent down or released long before losing that many times) or losing a $100 million case as a lawyer (you’d never be given such a case if people think you’re terrible).

That being said, as Encina notes, Davis tied the Orioles record in 2,029 fewer games than it took Ripken so, um, maybe there are exceptions to every rule.

Davis is having a terrible year, by the way, hitting .152/.225/.257 (OPS+ 35) with only seven homers in 257 plate appearances. Yet, because of his contract — he’s only in year three of a seven-year, $161 million deal — and because the Orioles simply have no other options, he’s going to be in that lineup every single day. As a result, barring injury or immediate turnaround, he’s poised to challenge many marks for hitting futility in 2018 and, possibly, beyond.

Godspeed, Chris.

Report: Indians trade Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers

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The Cleveland Indians have either traded two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers or are on the verge of doing so. Jon Heyman says the deal is done. Others are reporting that it’s close. It is not clear yet what the Indians will be receiving in return in what seems like an inevitable transaction.

Kluber made only seven starts this past year thanks to a broken arm and a strained oblique muscle. When he did pitch he was no great shakes, posting a 5.80 ERA and 44 hits in 35.2 innings. Those were freak injuries that do not suggest long-term problems, however, so there’s a good reason to think he’ll bounce back to useful form, even if it’s a tough ask for him to return to the form that won him the 2014 and 2017 Cy Young Award.

Before his injury-wracked 2019 campaign, Kluber pitched over 200 innings in each of his previous five seasons so mileage could be an issue. For his career he’s 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA (134 ERA+), a 2.99 FIP, and a K/BB ratio of 1,461/292 over 1,341.2 innings in nine big league seasons.

Unless there is cash coming from Cleveland in the deal, the Rangers will be paying him $17.5 million this year and a 2021 option of $14 million pursuant to the five-year, $38.5 million contract he inked with Cleveland before the 2015 season.