A no-hitter that wasn’t & more… MLBRT 4/14


MLBRT-with-SS logo for 7Poundbag

Yeah, it’s real early in the season in the MLB season but so far there seem to be some interesting trends happening. Let’s what the MLBRT crew thinks about… the Red Sox starters… Carlo Correa… the no-hitter that wasn’t and more from the first week or so that happened in MLB.

1) One ESPN media-head recently had this to say about the Boston Red Sox starting rotation… “David Price and roll the dice…” essentially meaning that beyond David Price the Sox may have a lot of holes in the starting rotation… 

Do they? Do the Red Sox, outside of Price, have a rotation that’s going to need a lot of run support if the Sox are to have a chance to make the playoffs in 2016? 

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: Let’s start with Buchholz; which one are they going to get his year? The 2010/2013 version or the 2012/2014? Big difference. In his case it might be “roll the dice” from game to game. I mean there is a BIG Time difference between a 187+ leading the league ERA+ of 2010 to an ERA+ of 75 in 2014.david-price-red-sox

Rick Porcello has only had two decent seasons of his 7 full seasons. He has been serviceable at best.

Steven “Knucklepuck” Wright is a good #3 or #4 starter; gives the opponents something different from the normal pitcher.

Joe Kelly has really struggled and has been below the average pitcher since his days with St. Louis.

So, basically, AFTER Price, you have like a collective 4.00+  ERA to throw out there. So, I guess the analogy is pretty close to right, Roll the Dice. Maybe one of their younger bullpen guys will get promoted and shine later on.

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: I think that besides David Price, the Red Sox have a lot of question marks inside of the rotation. They have a lot of not much experience, especially by Kelly & Wright. Wright only started 12 games and Kelly only has 78 starts under his belt. While Wright has looked good in his appearances (112 ERA+), he doesn’t have a lot of MLB time to go off of. Kelly has some more, but he has a 1.399 WHIP & is an average pitcher (101 ERA+).

Porcello is a below average pitcher (95 ERA+) with a lower WHIP (1.359) than Kelly but he has quite a bit more experience and is the 3 hole pitcher.

And, Buchholz is an up-and-down pitcher who seems to have been struck by injuries over his career.

Overall, I feel like this rotation will allow quite a bit of runners on base, are a bunch of average or slightly above average pitchers and the Red Sox will need to provide some help on offense when Price isn’t pitching.

As for making the playoffs, I think they do have a shot, but I’d be worried about the rotation if they do make it. Price isn’t known for good appearances in the playoffs and the rest of the rotation is nothing more than a collection of average-to-inexperienced talent. I wouldn’t expect much from their starting rotation outside of Price & Buchholz (if, Buchholz can stay healthy all season).

meJoe: I have said it in an earlier MLBRT that what the Red Sox did in the offseason didn’t really impress me and I doubt they make it to the playoffs in 2106. I still feel that way.red-sox-1

Price is a good pitcher but it’s not like he’s a slam dunk to have a great season… Kershaw he ain’t.  And, after Price… the NY Mets or Cleveland Indians they ain’t, either. Where Price can keep a team in a game, I don’t have  that same faith in the rest of the Sox’ starters. And, I still don’ think the bullpen is all that great… Kimbrel helps but closers tend to come and go with the wind. Mariano Rivera’s are far and few between.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve:  Outside of Price, the Red Sox are an average baseball team. They are going to have to make a move or two in order to make the playoffs. Price will get his wins, and put up some Cy Young numbers, but after that, it will be a crap shoot, and I don’t think the Red Sox offense will be able to keep up.

Just like I don’t think Pablo Sandoval’s pants can stay up….sorry had to go there.

2) Carlos Correa homered and stole two bases in the Astros’ Opening Day over the Yankees win at Yankee Stadium. Then, he hit two more homers the next day in a losing effort to the Yankees… his second shot was a 460-plus foot blast to center field that clanged off the facing of the restaurant behind and above the bullpens. It’s early in the year, but following his Rookie of the Year season in 2015, he is off to a good start and some people are saying he belongs in the same conversation as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. 

What’s your opinion on Correa? Is he destined to be the next greatest and latest big time player in Baseball?

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: After a great ROY season last year he is off to a great start this season.

Barring any misfortune physically, I believe this kid is the real deal and destined for many ASGs.correa2

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: Right now, I don’t have much to go off of him besides a week of baseball this season & his rookie season, but I definitely do think he has the making to be one of the next top players in baseball.

He’s has shown what he can potentially do; has been a very talented young player and as long as nothing unexpected happens, he’s destined to be in the conversation of Bryce Harper & Mike Trout. I just think that he needs to have another season under his belt before I can make that judgement call with a definite answer.

meJoe: It’s still early in his career, but, if I had to bet on whether this guy is a keeper or not… I’d go with keeper.correa

How good of a keeper? I’ll wait a few years before I commit to giving him HOF status but I’m going to say maybe he might win an MVP or two before his career comes to an end.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: The kid is a superstar right now. We were saying the same thing about Mike Trout in his rookie season, and now he is being talked about as the best player in baseball.

So yeah, Correa has every right to be mentioned with the same breath as Trout and Harper, he is only going to get better. I see MVP’s in the kids near future.

3) Last Friday (4/8)) night, Dodgers’ right-hander Ross Stripling took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, in an attempt to become the second pitcher in big-league history to throw a no-hitter in his first career big-league start.

Stripling’s efforts fell short as he was pulled from the game by manager Dave Roberts after he issued his fourth walk of t he game.  His pitch count at the time was at 100 with just 58 strikes. And to be fair, Stripling only was in the rotation due to injuries to the Dodgers’ pitching staff. And, he also had had Tommy John surgery in 2014 that limited him to just 71 innings pitched in 2015. 

All in all, did Roberts make the right move or should Stripling been allowed his shot at Baseball immortality?

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: IF, you are looking after an up and coming pitcher with great potential? Then yes, he did the right thing.

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: From what everybody, including Stripling’s father, has said, is that Dave Roberts did make the right decision. Bruce Bochy even has said he would have done the same thing. Stripling wasn’t very consistent as evident by his only throwing about half of his pitches for strikes. And, he still hasn’t thrown a lot of innings yet from his Tommy John surgery and he could’ve had a major problem if he had given up a hit.stripling3

But, in my opinion, you take the risk. You let him go for the no-hitter. If he doesn’t get it and gives up a hit, take him out immediately. But, at least, let him try. Hindsight is 20/20 so I’m able to say this, but the reliever that came into the game gave up a 2-run home run to blow the no-hitter. Would it have been that bad if Stripling did that himself? I don’t think so, at least he made the attempt to get it. And, who knows, with the way he was pitching, he definitely could’ve thrown one. Why not give him the opportunity, especially in his first major league start.

meJoe: I know the arguments… high pitch count, he was wild, lucky to get as far as he did to even have a no-hitter going…

Still, unless he is showing some type of stress out there or bitching his arm hurts… I let him pitch until he gives up that first hit. It ain’t like he’ll get another chance to pitch a no-hitter in his first MLB game ever again and get a chance to be a piece of Baseball history and legend.

I will add this… I was watching a Yankee game shortly after this happened and David Cone, one of the YES announcers who had an aneurysm in his arm in 1996 and went on the DL… in fact some thought he would never pitch again. But, in September, he was cleared to rejoin the team and in his first start he was pitching a no-hitter through seven innings before he had to leave due to a pitch count restriction. Cone said on the air that Joe Torre went up to him in the dugout and said that if anything had ever happened to him because he left him in too long and disregarded the pitch count restriction, he would have never forgiven himself…

So… ya just never know what goes through a manager’s mind when he makes these decisions.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: You hate to see it, but I understand why Roberts pulled him.stripling2

He was throwing a ton of pitches, and he was all over the place. How he had a no-hitter is beyond me. You have to protect your players, and I’m sure that Stripling had some sort of say in whether he was going to stay in or not.

I pitched when I was younger, and I once had a shut out going into the 8th inning. It would have been the first shutout of my career had I finished the game. The coach came to me and asked me if I wanted to go out there for the ninth. I knew my body, and my arm was like jello and I knew that I could not go out there without risking injury, or worse, cost our team the game. So, it can happen, your mind tells you go get it, but your arm tells you otherwise.

4) On Thursday (4/7) Chicago Cubs’ leftfielder Kyle Schwarber and centerfielder Dexter Fowler were in a collision as they both went after a ball and Schwarber suffered full tears to the ACL and LCL in his left knee and will be out for the rest of the season. schwarber1

What effect do you think Schwarber’s absence from the Cub’s lineup will have on the Cubs this season?

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: It really took a big stick out of their lineup. Sometimes it takes the moxie right out of a team to lose a young stud like he is. But, then again, sometimes a team rallies around him and puts up great stats and wins.

I feel it is still too early to tell and besides there is a LOT of time to make up for his absence.

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: Honestly, I think that he’ll clearly be missed as he was projected to be a major part, but, I feel as if the Cubs have an amazing offense and will be able to supplement his production from another area.

And, while they were getting no-hit by the Reds tonight (April 11), they still have one of the best offenses in the majors but will still miss what he could’ve brought to the table. still, I think they’ll be fine though and still be able to compete for the World Series spot in the NL. schwarber2

meJoe: It will hurt not having Schwarber in the lineup but it won’t be a devastating blow… they have options and damn good ones in my opinion. I think Theo Epstein made sure those options were there from the get go.

I would be more worried how well he can recover from the injuries and how it effects his future… both in quality and duration

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: When I first saw the injury I said “uh oh.” Then, I thought it wasn’t so bad.

Then, I heard he was out for the year, and I wanted to crawl under a bench in a fetal position and cry.Schwarber1

After that, I realized that the Cubs are so loaded and deep in talent, that not having Schwarber for the season is not the end of the world. Had this injury occur to Arrieta or Lester, then I think panic would set in for Cubs fans, as they are not nearly as deep with talent in pitching as they are in offense.

The Cubs will be fine, but I do hope Kyle gets back sooner rather than later. 

5) Speaking of… yeah, it’s still early, but… Trevor Story in his first 6 games in his MLB career has 7 HRs, 12 RBIs with a .333 BA and a 1.111 slugging average which means, over a full season, he would end up with about 170 HRs and about 325 RBIs. Now, there is no way in hell Story can keep this type of pace up, but, is he destined to be a flash in the pan, a star in the making or somewhere in-between?

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: What did Puig do his first 1/3 of a season? Killed ’em. What has he done since? Numbers have declined.story1

Now, I am not saying Story will follow this pattern but I can say for certain that pitchers, coaches and all analysts alike will look to find holes in his swing and will try their level best to exploit those holes. Statistics are kept for a reason, to give everyone a “measured guide” on someone’s performance. Once these numbers are in the book you can’t change them. Given that Story has five seasons in the minors to measure against and then to see that his career stats there show him to be less than a .270 BA hitter I feel he will settle into that level at the ML level as well.

Sometimes they increase and maintain, but, most times, they are what their numbers say they are.

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: With how he’s played this season, I feel like he definitely can be a star, but, more than likely, he’ll be a star in Colorado.

He’s playing in an extremely hitter-friendly ballpark which will help his home run totals all season, but I don’t think that he’ll continue on the pace that he’s on. I think that he can definitely be one of the best in the majors throughout his career and Colorado definitely will help with that. But, I feel like he’ll be one of those players who provide big numbers but is overlooked (Muchado, Arenado).

It’s a fantastic story and simply amazing in my opinion to see what he’s been able to do in his first MLB season.

meJoe: Yeah, it’s  nice story… and, yeah, I went there; why not?… but… let’s wait until a few more chapters are written in his book this year before we go punching his ticket to the Hall and casting his plaque.story-hr

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: Okay, so I have watched Story play in a few games, and from what I see he has great plate discipline. He has power, and can hit in any situation. That is the makings of a superstar.

It is still way too early to tell how good he can be. Pitchers will adapt to his style, just like they did Kris Bryant last season. I think he will be a great player, and make some All Star appearances, but I don’t see him in the same conversation as Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson, Andrew McCutchen, just to name a few.

Extra Innings…

This Tigers Fan Caught Five Foul Balls…

Bill Dugan

No, that is not a misprint… Bill Dugan, of Roseville, Michigan, caught five (5) five foul balls at the Detroit Tigers’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday (4/11).

The Tigers season ticket holder gave all five balls away to thankful kids nearby.

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