Some notable and fun stuff going on around baseball right now …
- It really seems like the Mets are going to be able to trade Matt Harvey, which, even eating salary, is incredible to me:
#Mets confident they will trade Harvey, sources tell The Athletic. Four to five teams interested, including #SFGiants, as noted by @jcrasnick. NYM would pick up vast majority of Harvey’s remaining salary, which is in $4.5M range, to get something in return.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 8, 2018
- Knowing that Harvey would hit the waiver wire, go unclaimed, and then become a free agent, there are teams out there instead willing to take on a little guaranteed salary and/or give up something of marginal value for the hail mary on Harvey. Given the precipitous decline, questionable attitude, and off-the-field stories, it’s surprising to me. But when he was right, he was legitimately among the best pitchers I’ve watched (albeit now several years ago). I guess the hope is that he can be renewed in a new location.
- Among many things in Jeff Passan’s always-interesting 10 Degrees column, he points out that the “biceps tendinitis” description for Clayton Kershaw’s injury may have been intentionally vague, given that the biceps connects to both the elbow and shoulder, and soreness in either area would obviously be much more concerning. Kershaw, 30, is dealing with a drop in velocity and overall performance in what could be a walk-year for him (via opt out), so the timing is less than ideal.
- Also, there’s a discussion in there about elite starting pitchers, and it chaps me not to see Kyle Hendricks on there:
Since he entered the league in 2014, just 9 starting pitchers have a better ERA than Kyle Hendricks. Their names?
Kyle. Hendricks. Is. Elite.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 8, 2018
- Baseball is officially coming to Europe:
Baseball in London. Get pumped. pic.twitter.com/zCNFrqYrgB
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) May 8, 2018
- So long as MLB continues its efforts to improve fan connections to the game here in the States, I’ve got no problem with them trying to cultivate new fans abroad.
- With spin rate – and how you can add it, legally or otherwise – getting a lot of attention, Travis Sawchik wrote about other pitchers who are adding spin, noting this tweet from Trevor Bauer’s Driveline pal, Kyle Boddy:
Regarding the article: One way to increase fastball spin is to throw a hybrid 4sFB/cutter which adds gyrospin and mostly preserves backspin. CJ Edwards does this. He throws basically a cutter, not a four-seam fastball, but it's classified as a 4sFB. Sanity check against z-break. https://t.co/CTif8r0VI4
— Kyle Boddy (@drivelinebases) May 3, 2018
- Edwards famously has a huge spin, huge cut (for a fastball) four-seamer. I think saying it is “basically a cutter” goes a bit too far, but Boddy’s point is very interesting – when it comes to spin rate, there’s a pitch classification issue if you want to go apples to apples.
- Anyway, the Sawchik article is a good one on this stuff, taking a look at whether teams can acquire pitchers and then help them add velocity and/or spin rate.
- Troubling news out of Toronto, though there aren’t many details at this time:
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 8, 2018
- Tommy Pham, who departed the Cubs-Cardinals series about halfway through, is still out with his groin issue, and did not start today against the Twins.
- Tim Lincecum is back (at AAA, for now), and this is something he did, presumably on accident:
Tim Lincecum tiene una nueva manera de engañar y distraer a los bateadores:
— Corte4 (@corte4) May 8, 2018
- Well this is fun. Also, Hi Kyle Schwarber:
"What's a single?" – @JoeyGallo24
— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 8, 2018
- Little Vlad is going to be very good:
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) May 8, 2018
- Dude just turned 19, and is posting a .398/.453/.673 line at AA with matching 10.2% walk and strikeout rates. He’s going to be special.