More news from around the League…
- After being injured on a slide into second base, Adrian Beltre will miss at least two weeks with a thumb sprain and laceration. However, the DL trip has paved the way for big-time Rangers’ prospect Joey Gallo to make his major league debut, straight from AA. You might remember Gallo thanks to the unofficial MiLB home run race that occurred between him and Kris Bryant in 2014 (Bryant won 43 to 42). Gallo has unquestionable power, perhaps greater than Bryant, but has far more pronounced strikeout issues. Over 146 PAs in 2015, Gallo has posted an impressive 1.061 OPS, but has coupled it with a 33.6% strike out rate. In 2014, his strikeout rate was 39.5% over 291 AA PAs. I’m guessing that his debut will not be unlike Javier Baez’s – lots of strikeouts with glimpses of unique power. Baseball Prospectus has a nice write up on his call-up.
- Naturally, in his first game last night, Gallo hit a 410-foot homer in his debut (off of Jeff Samardzija):
- After being pulled in the second inning of his Friday start against Cincinnati, Stephen Strasburg was placed on the 15-day disabled list, this Saturday, May 30. After visiting a doctor Monday night, the oft-injured Strasburg was diagnosed with a left trapezius strain, according to Andrew Simon, and he won’t pitch again “until the tightness goes away.” After a strong 2014 campaign, Strasburg has struggled early on this season, pitching to a 6.55 ERA (3.96 FIP) over 45.1 innings. It’s a tough blow to the Nationals, who are already missing Doug Fister, among others. No replacement has been named yet, but Taylor Jordan is rumored to take his next turn in the rotation.
- Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to players and front office personnel from all big-league teams in St. Louis, Monday night, on a variety of topics that you can read about here. Notably, Manfred announced that Pete Rose will be invited back to MLB as a participant in the All-Star Festivities in Cincinnati, this July.
- On the DH debate, Manfred mentions that he is OK with the status-quo, and doesn’t believe the two leagues need to have consistent rules. Frankly, I disagree with his position. Whether the DH ultimately gets added to the NL (likely) or taken away from the AL (unlikely), the two leagues absolutely should have equal rules. Currently, the AL owns a clear benefit over the NL (thanks to the DH) in interleague play, roster management and free agency. [Brett: I wonder to what extent Manfred keeps saying he’s fine with the status quo because he knows many of the owners don’t really want the DH (he represents the owners), and because he wants to leave it out there as something the players have to push for at the negotiating table if they want it (and would thus have to concede something to the owners]
Commissioner Rob Manfred: "Not having NL pitchers hit would deprive us of the entertainment Bartolo Colon has given us this year."
— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) June 2, 2015
- After doing some research on the predictive ability of hard-hit rates (a hot topic, in 2015) Owen Watson has determined that some relationship does exist between hard-hit rates and HR/FB%, ISO, slugging and wRC+. While the results are not entirely deterministic, they do seem to indicate (intuitively) that harder hit balls are decisively better for offense. Interestingly, there is no relation to line drive %. It’s an interesting read, at FanGraphs, you should check it out.
- Dave Cameron on how Gerrit Cole has finally begun to be the ace that scouts predicted he could be, throughout his career. Comparing his early season numbers to the last two years, Cameron highlights that Cole is giving up less walks, collecting more strike outs, inducing more ground balls and leaving more batters on base. Cole is maintaining the lowest ERA (1.90) and FIP (2.41) of his career, despite facing the highest BABIP (.317) of his career. He has a 1.50 ERA vs the Cubs, in 2015.
- Ben Cosman reminds us that yesterday was the five year anniversary of Armando Galarraga’s (nearly) perfect game that was spoiled by a missed call by the first base umpire. With two outs in the ninth inning, a grounder pulled Miguel Cabrera far from first and Galarraga ran to cover the base. Despite clearly being out, at least on the replay, teams were not yet allowed to challenge calls and Jason Donald was called safe. The umpire, Jim Joyce, later acknowledged that he made the wrong call, and that Galarraga handled it professionally. Sometimes change is a good thing, my friends.
- Former Cub prospect Marwin Gonzalez (a Rule 5 poach a couple years ago, now playing for the Astros) makes an incredible throw to first base on a grounder up the middle. I have no idea how he knew where that ball was going to end up:
- Royals players continue to benefit from increased fanfare and support (likely due to last year’s World Series appearance) in the All-Star Game voting for 2015. Lorenzo Cain (and his .766 OPS), for example, is leading all outfielders … including Mike Trout … and Sal Perez (0.8 WAR) is the leading vote-getter in the entire league:
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 1, 2015