Astros starter Gerrit Cole recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2019 season on Wednesday night against the Rangers, fanning Shin-Soo Choo to end the sixth inning. He has thus far held the Rangers scoreless on two hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Cole is the first pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts this year, but he may soon be joined by teammate Justin Verlander who is at 283 and has two starts remaining. He is the fourth pitcher to reach the 300-strikeout club since 2003, joining Max Scherzer (2018), Chris Sale (2017), and Clayton Kershaw (2015). Cole is the first Astro with 300+ strikeouts since Mike Scott (306) in a Cy Young Award-winning 1986 season. J.R. Richard also did it twice as an Astro in 1978 (303) and ’79 (313).
Cole entered Wednesday’s start battling Verlander for the AL Cy Young Award. He carried a 17-5 record with a 2.62 ERA and a 292/45 K/BB ratio in 192 1/3 innings.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.