MLBits: Angels Drama, Bundy Hurt Again, Rays Starter Strategy, Insane Kung Fu Contact, More

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MLBits: Angels Drama, Bundy Hurt Again, Rays Starter Strategy, Insane Kung Fu Contact, More

Chicago Cubs

mlb logo featureSo my court baseball game came and went … and my team didn’t do so great. We lost 14-5 after going down big early. I did hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the 9th with two outs for the #fakerally, but it didn’t amount to much. Oh well, better luck next year. Until that time, though, here’s some news from around the league…

  • The Tampa Bay Rays are utilizing a strategy we’ve surmised that the Cubs’ coaches and front office have discussed and employed a lot this year: limiting the number of times their starters face opposing hitters. You know the theory: Hitters tend to fare much better the third time up against a pitcher, so limiting that exposure should help dampen the damage. In 2014, for example, hitters had a .681 OPS the first time up against a starter, a .708 OPS the second time and a .749 OPS the third time up against the same pitcher. Although the Rays’ strategy comes in for some high praise, the Cubs are left out of the conversation entirely. Shrug. Most likely, the bullpen’s early season struggles overshadowed the effectiveness of that strategy. I like competitive advantages, anyway.
  • After pitching just 22 innings in 2015, this happened:

  • According to Bundy, he has a calcium build up in the back of his right shoulder. After meeting with Dr. James Andrews, Bundy was told he will not need surgery, but that he won’t pitch any time soon. The worst part (for the Orioles, that is) is that Bundy is out of options after this season. That means that he’ll have to be kept on the 25-man roster in 2016, or will be subjected to waivers, where he’d presumably get claimed quickly.
  • Angels’ General Manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia appear to be in a bit of a tiff, which stretches all the way back to 2012. The source of the displeasure? Scioscia’s resistance to data prepared by Dipoto and his staff. This is actually a very interesting read; the argument between data and feel, doesn’t seem to be going away quite yet, this being just the latest example. For what it’s worth, Scioscia has the ability to opt out of his contract at the end of 2015. (Update this morning: Dipoto may have packed up his things and left. (UPDATE to the UPDATE: He’s reportedly stepped down.))
  • [Fine Brett, I’ll include this] Hawk Harrelson displayed a random act of kindness by cheering up a White Sox fan who became “visibly upset” after missing a Melky Cabrera home run catch in the stands. Hawk, being the swell guy that he [probably] is, noticed the fan’s distress, invited her into the broadcast booth during the game, gave her a game ball and gave her tickets to the next White Sox-Tigers game. Okay, fine, that is pretty nice.
  • The Royals are still doing quite well in All-Star voting, according to the latest update:

  • Yep, Omar Infante with his .553 OPS (47 wRC+) is still leading Jose Altuve with his .751 OPS and 105 wRC+ and Jason Kipnis with his .934 OPS (164 wRC+). The All-Star Game voting is dumb.
  • Pablo Sandoval hit a pitch he had no business even trying to reach, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t impressive (if misguided).

  • Hooray no Cubs:

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami