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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Sunday Notes: Max Scherzer Expects Spencer Strider to Get Higher (Assuming He Stays Wholesome)


Spencer Strider got here up in a dialog I had with Max Scherzer previous to Friday night time’s sport at Fenway Park. We have been speaking concerning the veteran right-hander’s evolution as a pitcher — I’d first interviewed Scherzer in 2010 — and velocity and strikeout charges have been predictably among the many matters that popped up. Therefore the point out of the 24-year-old Atlanta Braves hurler with the high-octane heater and eye-popping 39.7% strikeout charge.

“He’s obtained a heck of a fastball, for certain,” Scherzer mentioned after I talked about Strider. “And he’s nonetheless creating. One of many issues Flash Gordon informed me after I was a rookie developing with the Diamondbacks is that you just don’t stroll into this league as an ace. His feedback have been, ‘Guess what? When Pedro and Roger first obtained within the league, they threw 5 innings. They have been five-and-dive guys. Then they discovered the right way to pitch; they discovered the right way to get guys out a number of instances by the order.’ It takes time to be taught to be constant at this degree.

“Making use of that logic — the knowledge that I heard many, a few years in the past — Spencer Strider is continuous to get higher,” continued Scherzer. “He’s persevering with so as to add stuff to his sport whereas pitching nice and placing out a whole lot of guys out within the course of. So long as he stays wholesome, he’s obtained a whole lot of upside with what he’s going to have the ability to do with the baseball.”

Strider is 23-8 with a 3.20 ERA, a 2.88 FIP, and 391 strikeouts in 250-and-two-thirds innings. He’s surrendered simply 180 hits. The concept that he may grow to be even higher is a scary proposition for hitters. My staying as a lot elicited a robust opinion from the previous Cy Younger Award winner and seven-time All-Star.

“So long as he stays wholesome, he’ll,” mentioned Scherzer, who has been an influential, and at instances outspoken, participant rep with the New York Mets. “One of many greatest negatives throughout the sport is what number of pitching accidents there are. There are a complete host of causes, and it must be a complete three-hour podcast to undergo that, however beginning pitchers are getting harm at alarming charges. Guys aren’t in a position to keep sturdy.

“For a starter to remain wholesome his first 5 years… I really feel like we’re seeing fewer and fewer of these guys do it with out important time on the IL. That’s an issue, partly since you’re evolving in these 5 years. You’re studying the right way to play that cat-and-mouse sport with hitters, and possibly you want one other pitch, however you’re solely evolving if you happen to’re really on the market pitching. From my vantage level, guys are simply attempting to see how exhausting they’ll throw, see which breaking pitch they’ll execute, and the remainder is, ‘So be it. If I get harm, I get harm. That’s an issue.”

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RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS

Johnny Mize went 23 for 51 in opposition to Peaches Davis.

Elmer Smith went 18 for 35 in opposition to Dixie Davis.

Mike Easler went 10 for 18 in opposition to Storm Davis.

Beals Becker went 6 for 16 in opposition to Iron Davis.

Spud Davis went 11 for 25 in opposition to Increase-Increase Beck.

Kiddo Davis went 16 for 26 in opposition to Larry Benton.

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Final Sunday’s column included Trevor Might saying that going through Miguel Cabrera in his 2014 rookie season was his “Oh wow, I’m in The Present’ second.” With that in thoughts, I requested New York Mets rookie right-hander Grant Hartwig what most stands out from his first 10 big-league outings (Hartwig subsequently made his eleventh look yesterday afternoon, incomes a win to run his report to 3-1 with a 2.87 ERA).

“Coming in with the bases loaded to face Fernando Tatis Jr.” mentioned Hartwig, who did so within the second of his back-to-back outings in San Diego on July 8 and July 9. “That was my first huge second. Dealing with him with one out and getting a ground-ball double-play was form of an ‘OK, right here we go’ for me.”

The 25-year-old Detroit native obtained Tatis Jr. to roll over a sinker, the identical pitch with which he’d retired him the earlier night time. Anticipating that the Padres star can be attempting to ambush that pitch, he began him off with a cutter that was fouled off. He then threw him a slider within the dust, “attempting to get him off my sinker,” earlier than going to his ground-ball-go-to for the inning-ending DP.

All informed, Hartwig confronted seven hitters within the back-to-back outings and retired all of them. That they included not solely Tatis Jr., but in addition Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, and Juan Soto made the expertise all of the extra significant.

“I watched these guys in faculty simply a few years in the past,” mentioned Hartwig, who signed with the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in 2021 after incomes a level in microbiology and premedical research from Oxford, Ohio’s Miami College. “ It was like, ‘Oh, god, these guys are unbelievable.’ Having the ability to face them and get them out is somewhat wild.“

His first strikeout, which got here in Philadelphia, was one other spotlight. Making his third profession look, he fanned former Tiger Nick Castellanos.

“He’s a man I watched rising up in Detroit,” defined Hartwig. “I’d additionally been ready for that first one, and to get the ball. After the strikeout, it obtained thrown down to 3rd [to end the inning], after which [Brett Baty] threw it up into the stands. He didn’t understand. It was humorous, as a result of instantly after he threw it, everybody was like, ‘Nooo!’ He had his palms on his head, like, ‘Oh crap.’ However we obtained the ball again, so it was cool.”

Hartwig was first featured right here at FanGraphs in March of final yr.

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A quiz:

The New York Yankees (27) and St. Louis Cardinals (11) are the franchises with essentially the most World Collection titles. Which two franchises are tied for the third-most World Collection titles?

The reply could be discovered under.

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NEWS NOTES

Congrats to Pat Hughes and John Lowe, who yesterday have been formally honored by the Baseball Corridor of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award, and the BBWAA Profession Excellence Award, respectively. Hughes is in his twenty seventh season broadcasting for the Chicago Cubs after a dozen with the Milwaukee Brewers. Lowe coated baseball from 1979-2014, the final 29 of these years for the Detroit Free Press.

Eddie Bressoud, an infielder who performed for 4 groups, primarily the Purple Sox and Giants, from 1956-1967, died final week at age 91. An American League All-Star with Boston in 1964, he gained a World Collection ring with the St. Louis Cardinals in his last big-league season.

Larry Yellen, a Brooklyn native who pitched for the Houston Colt .45s in 1963 and 1964, died final week at age 80 (per Baseball Participant Passings). The proper-hander had a 6.23 ERA in 26 innings.

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The reply to the quiz is the Boston Purple Sox and Oakland Athletics with 9 championships every. The A’s had 5 of their titles whereas the franchise was based mostly in Philadelphia, and have added 4 since transferring to the Bay Space.

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Mike Aldrete hit his most-memorable house run on the penultimate day of the 1996 season. It was additionally his final. A journeyman outfielder/first baseman who went deep 41 instances whereas seeing motion with seven groups over 10 big-league seasons, Aldrete hung up his spikes after spending the next yr in Triple-A.

“I used to be with the Yankees, and I hit it off Roger Clemens,” recalled Aldrete, who’s now a coach for the Oakland Athletics. “It was in his final sport in a Purple Sox uniform, and it was to useless centerfield. I’ve been telling everyone for years that it was my final profession hit, however apparently I pinch-hit the subsequent day and obtained a success. I shouldn’t have gotten it. I ought to have simply struck out, so I may say that my final hit was a house run off ‘The Rocket.’”

Aldrete is appropriate that Clemens was pitching his last sport in a Boston uniform. He was misinformed concerning the house run not really being his final hit. Per Retrosheet sport logs, Aldrete certainly got here off the bench the subsequent day, however he walked and grounded out in his two plate appearances. He subsequently went hitless in a single post-season at-bat. Aldrete’s previous story has been proper all alongside.

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FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The Nanum All-Star topped the Dream All-Stars 8-4 within the KBO’s All-Star sport, which was held on July 15. Hanwha Eagles first baseman Eun-seong Chae wa sthe hitting star, going 2-for-3 with a house run and 5 RBIs.

The KBO’s Lotte Giants launched Dan Straily this week. The 34-year-old former big-league right-hander was 3-5 with a 4.37 ERA in 16 begins this season.

The Pacific League gained every of NPB’s All-Star video games this week, beating the Central League by scores of 8-1 and 6-1. Nippon Ham Fighters outfielder Chusei Mannami homered in each contests for the successful aspect.

Shota Imanaga is 6-1 with a 2.07 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 87 innings for NPB’s Yokohama BayStars. Japan’s starter on this previous spring’s World Cup last versus america, the 29-year-old left-hander is reportedly being scouted closely by MLB groups.

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Purple Sox media relations stalwart Justin Lengthy tweeted out an important stat-fact throughout a rain delay on Friday night time. That it got here with a wanted caveat doesn’t make it any much less enjoyable.

Via their first 81 MLB video games, Masataka Yoshida was 100-for-315 for a .317 batting common, whereas Ted Williams was 101-for-319 for a .317 common.

The caveat: Williams had a 1.002 OPS and was 20 years previous. Yoshida has an .883 OPS and turned 30 per week in the past Saturday.

These issues mentioned, chew on this for a second:

Yoshida’s .319/.381/.502 slash line as of this morning is accompanied by a 140 wRC+. When Ichiro Suzuki gained the AL Rookie of the Yr and MVP awards in 2001, he slashed .350/.381/.457 with a 124 wRC+. In Hideki Matsui’s first MLB season, he slashed .287/.353/.435 with a 109 wRC+.

If Yoshida can basically match his to-date efficiency within the remaining two-plus months, will he have had the second-best offensive season for a first-year Japanese hitter in MLB historical past? And even the most effective?

Shohei Ohtani’s .285/.361/.564 with a 149 wRC+ in 2018 was arguably higher, though that comes with a caveat of its personal: he had simply 367 plate appearances. Yoshida has 370 plate appearances and is on tempo for over 500.

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FARM NOTES

Curtis Mead is 25-for-58 with Triple-A Durham since coming back from a two-month stint on the injured checklist and is now slashing .306/.370/.493 on the season (not counting his 4 rehab video games within the Florida Advanced League). The 22-year-old native of Adelaide, Australia is No. 1 on our Tampa Bay Rays Prime Prospects list and No. 28 on The Board.

Eduardo Quintero is slashing .382/.486/.655 in 138 plate appearances for the Dominican Summer season League’s Dodgers Bautista. The 17-year-old outfielder/catcher was signed out of Venezuela by Los Angeles this previous January.

Yoeilin Cespedes is slashing .328/.371/.522 in 143 plate appearances for Boston’s Dominican Summer season League entry. No. 22 on our Purple Sox Prime Prospects checklist, the 17-year-old center infielder was signed out of the Dominican Republic in January.

Patrick Monteverde is 8-2 with a 2.42 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 84-and-two-thirds innings for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. No. 15 on our Miami Marlins Prime Prospects checklist, the the 25-year-old left-hander was chosen within the eighth spherical of the 2021 draft out of Texas Tech.

Nick Avila is 12-0 with one save and a 3.86 ERA in 36 aid appearances comprising 46-and-two-thirds innings for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats. The 25-year-old right-hander was chosen within the twenty sixth spherical of the 2019 draft out of Lengthy Seashore State by the San Francisco Giants.

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Chad Dallas is having fun with a stellar first full skilled season within the Toronto Blue Jays system. A fourth-round choose in 2021 out of the College of Tennessee, the 23-year-old right-hander has gone 5-1 with a 3.68 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 73-and-a-third innings between Excessive-A Vancouver and Double-A New Hampshire. He’s surrendered eight gophers, and one in every of them got here to thoughts after I requested him which hitter has most earned his respect this yr.

“There’s a man from Hartford,” mentioned Dallas. “He’s a lefty who has over 20 house runs this yr. I knew that going into the sport, and the way he may make you pay for a mistake. I additionally knew the place his sizzling zone was, and on which pitches, however I nonetheless gave him precisely what he needed. I did pay for my mistake. He may need even put it out of the stadium. He obtained me good.”

How did the righty find yourself throwing the unsuitable pitch, within the unsuitable location, to a hitter with plus energy?

“His sizzling zone was form of tender, low, inside, however my exhausting stuff, the heater and the cutter, weren’t precisely on their A-Day,” defined Dallas. “I couldn’t put these precisely the place I needed to, so I needed to go along with my power, which is my slider. He was prepared for it.”

The hitter who took Dallas deep was Yanquiel Fernandez, a 20-year-old outfielder who’s No. 5 on our Colorado Rockies Prime Prospects checklist. The Havana, Cuba native is slashing .299/.347/.566 with 22 house runs and a 134 wRC+ this yr amongst three ranges.

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LINKS YOU’LL LIKE

The New York Instances’s Tyler Kepner talked to 96-year-old Carl Erskine, the final dwelling member of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers “Boys of Summer season.”

The KBO has imposed prolonged bans on three minor league gamers for the bodily abuse of their teammates. Jee-ho Yoo has the story on the Yonhap Information Company.

MiLB.com’s Benjamin Hill wrote about Milwaukee Brewers pitching prospect Kaleb Bowman, whose path to professional ball included stops in Australia, Canada, and Germany.

How does Walker Jenkins examine to different current Minnesota Twins prime draft picks? Nick Nelson addressed that query at Twins Day by day.

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RANDOM FACTS AND STATS

At plus-36, the Cubs are the one group within the Nationwide League Central with a optimistic run differential. Chicago’s North Aspect membership is in third place, seven-and-a-half video games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers who’ve a minus-four run differential.

Fred McGriff had 2,490 hits, 4,458 TB, a 134 wRC+, and 56.9 WAR.
Dwight Evans had 2,446 hits, 4,230 TB, a 129 wRC+, and 65.1 WAR.

Scott Rolen had 2,077 hits, 3,628 TB, a 122 wRC+, and 69.9 WAR.
Lou Whitaker had 2,369 hits, 3,651 TB, a 118 wRC+, and 68.1 WAR.

Bullet Rogan went 15-2 with a 1.74 ERA for the Negro Nationwide League’s Kansas Metropolis Monarchs in 1925. He additionally slashed .360/.424/.592 in 139 plate appearances.

On at this time’s date in 2002, Nomar Garciaparra celebrated his twenty ninth birthday by homering 3 times, together with twice in a 10-run third inning, because the Boston Purple Sox routed the Tampa Bay Satan Rays 22-4 at Fenway Park. Garciaparra’s fourth-inning grand slam gave him 5 house runs in his final seven plate appearances, as he’d gone deep twice the day past at Yankee Stadium.

The Pittsburgh Pirates swept a doubleheader from the Philadelphia Phillies on at this time’s date in 1930. The visiting Pirates gained the primary sport 2-1 on a ninth-inning solo house run by Pie Traynor, then captured the nightcap 16-15 courtesy of Traynor’s three-run homer within the prime of the thirteenth inning.

Gamers born on at this time’s date embrace Dean Look, a local of Lansing, Michigan who went hitless in six at-bats throughout a September cup of espresso with the Chicago White Sox in 1961. The older brother of Bruce Look, who caught for the Minnesota Twins in 1968, Dean Look appeared in a single sport as quarterback for the AFL’s New York Titans in 1962 earlier than changing into a longtime NFL official.

Additionally born on at this time’s date was King Brockett, who pitched for the New York Yankees in 1907, 1909, and 1911. A right-hander from Brownsville, Illinois, Brockett logged 10 of his 13 big-league wins in the course of his three seasons.



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