Baseball Chatter 08/04

Baseball Chatter 08/04

Andrea LChatter, Daily Chatter, Lennys Editorial0 Comments

Diamondbacks
  • Jake Lamb is hitting .189 in the the second half, but he likes his chances of finishing the season on a better note than last year, when he hit just .231 over his final 260 at-bats.
  • Sean Newcomb’s control problems continued to worsen as he allowed a career-high seven walks and four hits in 4 2/3 innings in his 10th major league start.
    • He needed 110 pitches to record 14 outs, and now sits at 0-4 with a 7.31 ERA in his past six starts.
    • He lasted 5 1/3 innings or fewer in five of those six games despite throwing 96 or more pitches in each of the past five.
    • He’s issued 22 walks in his past 25 innings.

 

Braves
  • Manager Brian Snitker said before Tuesday’s game that Freddie Freeman was moving back to first base and Matt Adams would be the primary left fielder until Matt Kemp returns from the disabled list.
    • There’s no timetable for Kemp’s return, and Snitker said he’d worry about what happens in left field once Kemp returns but not until then.

 

Orioles
  • Veterans Wade Miley and Ubaldo Jiménez appear to be the most obvious options to remove from the rotation, but the situation is not as simple as it would have been back when both were struggling.
    • Jiménez is coming off two straight strong starts and Miley delivered a solid performance his last time out.
    • The key might be finding somebody who can be successful in a flexible role that would allow Showalter to get strategic rest for young pitchers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.
  • After serving as the rock of the Orioles starting rotation for the past four seasons, Chris Tillman (1-7) hasn’t been the same pitcher this year. He missed the first month with a shoulder injury that dated to late last season, and since then, he has an 8.10 ERA in 15 starts. He has just three quality starts, and in his past two starts, he allowed 13 earned runs over 6 1/3 innings.

 

White Sox
  • Yoan Moncada struggled with the Red Sox last season, going 4-for-19 with 12 strikeouts. He’s working a lot of deep counts and looking relaxed at the plate but not producing a whole lot. He’s 4-for-40 with eight walks.

 

Indians
  • Corey Kluber (9-3, 2.77) threw the 13th complete game of his career. He improved to 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA in his career against the Yankees. He has 51 strikeouts and six walks in 42 innings against New York.

 

Rockies
  • At 6-12 with a 5.11 ERA over 20 starts, Tyler Chatwood has the highest occurrence of walks per nine innings, at 5.0, and the lowest ratio of strikeouts-to-walks, at 1.43, among Colorado’s rotation.

 

Tigers
  • Polite respect will be paid as the Tigers move toward replacing Nick Castellanos at third base, perhaps as early as next spring. He will likely move to the outfield or be traded.
    • In both of their big July trades, the Tigers were careful to include a third-base prospect in each deal. Sunday’s trade that sent Justin Wilson and Alex Avila to the Cubs was headed by 23-year-old Jeimer Candalario, a switch-hitter whose primary position happens to be third.

 

Defensive stats can be quite volatile when we’re not talking a lot of timeso it makes sense to take fielding numbers — even the most advanced ones — with a grain of salt for the short-term. But Castellanos now has over 4,000 innings at third, and his uniformly terrible defensive numbers (13 runs below-average a year by UZR, 16 runs by Baseball Info Solutions), are very likely in the neighborhood of his abilities there. ESPN.com baseball analyst Dan Szymborski on Castellanos
Astros
  • The defeat marked the Astros’ first three-game losing streak since June 11-13. The performance of their relief corps has declined in each of the season’s first four months. The Astros (69-39) came into Thursday with a 4.45 bullpen ERA that ranked 22nd in the majors.

 

Royals
  • The Royals had scored only three runs over 32 innings — and zero over the previous 13 innings — before Moss clubbed his first homer of the night.

 

Angels
  • The Angels scored two runs in the eighth to take a lead and then Bud Norris finished it, completing the team’s first sweep since May. It was the first time they had even won three in a row in more than a month, since June 24-26.

 

Dodgers
  • Alex Wood says is feeling now is fairly typical midseason fatigue compounded by the challenges of coast-to-coast travel with its disruption of sleep patterns, he said.
  • The multi-hit game was Chris Taylor’s 10th in 18 games since the All-Star break. He is batting .405 (30 for 74) during that stretch with 14 extra-base hits, 14 runs scored and 13 driven in, another spike in a breathtaking breakout season.

 

Marlins
  • The Marlins will likely look to replenish their supply of starting pitchers next year. But one possible rotation candidate, left-hander Jarlin Garcia, is already on the Marlins, more than halfway through a successful year as a rookie reliever. Garcia, 24, is 0-1 with a 3.53 ERA in 46 games, covering 35 2/3 innings. Left-handers are hitting just .172 against Garcia, who is also faring well against righties (.215).
Jarlin’s been a nice little addition. He throws strikes. He’s been really dependable about getting left-handers out. But he has also shown the ability to get right-handers.
  • Garcia has a 1.17 ERA in games in which he pitched the previous day. With one or zero days of rest, Garcia is holding hitters to a .162 average.

 

Brewers
  • Scoring runs has been a major challenge for the Brewers since the all-star break, allowing the Chicago Cubs to blow by them into first place in the National League Central.
    • They have scored three or fewer runs in 14 of 19 games over that stretch, resulting in a 7-12 record.
  • Eric Thames started in the lead off spot for the first time in the majors. He got one at-bat in that spot in 2011 with Toronto but did not start that game.
The only time I started in the leadoff spot was in 2013 with (Class AAA) Tacoma in SacramentoThames
  • Jesus Aguilar ranks third in the majors with 13 pinch hits, including his two-run homer Wednesday night.
    • Aguilar is batting .302 with two homers and eight RBI off the bench.
  • The Brewers are 15-15 in one-run games.

 

Mets
  • Amed Rosario, who tripled for the second straight game, finished the series 3-for-12 (.250) while giving the Mets a boost defensively at shortstop.

 

Yankees
  • Greg Bird is traveling with the team and moving toward taking batting practice on the field which would represent a big step in coming back from surgery on his right ankle.

 

Giants
  • Jarrett Parker played for the first time since fracturing his collarbone April 15 and sent doubles to the wall in each of his first two at-bats
  • Ryder Jones began to settle in as the new third baseman and No.2 hitter with a pair of hits – giving him a career total of three.
  • Brandon Belt added his 18th home run to match a career high.

 

Phillies
  • Jerad Eickhoff failed to record an out past the sixth inning for the 17th straight start.
    • He threw 58 pitches in the first two innings.
    • He walked four Angels.
    • He surrendered a deep homer to Mike Trout.
    • Still, he survived six innings and departed with a lead.

 

Pirates
  • Chad Kuhl is not the same kind of pitcher he was a year ago. He’s not even the same guy he was two months ago.
    • After winning his first start April 8, Kuhl went 12 starts without getting a victory.
    • His ERA crested at 6.69 in mid-May, then hovered around 5.00 for the past seven weeks.
There has been continual growth. There is still a lot of room for growth in a lot of different areas.
  • Consistent pitch efficiency has been elusive. Pitch selection and sequencing also remain works in progress.
    • Over his first 10 starts this season, Kuhl didn’t use his curveball. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, it accounted for about 15 percent of his pitches in back-to-back starts May 31 and June 7.
    • For the past two months, though, Kuhl has used the curve sparingly as his slider has become more prominent. And, as is the case with most pitchers, everything keys off the fastball.

 

Cardinals
  • The Cardinals lost to the Brewers 2-1 after failing to score before and after Greg Garcia‘s RBI single in the fifth inning.
    • They lost a pivotal series 2-1 after scoring three combined runs in their two defeats.
    • They lost for the 10th time since the All-Star Break.
    • They lost for the sixth time in their last six chances to reach .500.
    • They lost for the 55th time this season, reaching the unsavory milestone seven games sooner than the 2016 Cardinals, the team that failed to reach the postseason for the first time since 2010.
  • The Cardinals entered the series finale ranked 10th or 11th in pretty much every category that measures a team’s overall offense. Not 10th or 11th in baseball. We’re talking 10th or 11th in the 15-team National League.
    • Cardinals
      • Rank eleventh in the National League in runs (476) Ahead of only the Pirates, Giants, Phillies and Padres.
      • Rank eleventh in home runs (125). Ahead of only the Braves, Phillies, Pirates and Giants.
      • Rank tenth in on-base plus slugging percentage (.747). Ahead of only the Braves, Phillies, Pirates, Padres and Giants.
      • Rank eleventh in runs per game (4.45). Ahead of only the Pirates, Phillies, Giants and Padres.

 

Rays
  • Jake Odorizzi (back) will make what could be his only needed rehab start tonight, working three-four innings for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs in Dunedin (6:30, first pitch).
    • If all goes well, Odorizzi could rejoin the rotation Wednesday.

 

Rangers
  • Joey Gallo has four homers in the past three games.
    • Two of the blasts at home were tracked at 456 feet and 460 feet.
    • The homer was No. 29 this season for Gallo, his seventh in the past 13 games and his fourth in the past three games.
    • He’s all but assured of hitting 30 homers in his first full season in the majors, but how high can he go? Forty seems to be completely within reach. Forty-five doesn’t sound outlandish, with two months to go.
    • That requires him to hit 16 in the final 54 games. At the rates he’s going, I wouldn’t put it past him.

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