How was your week

Posted: May 26, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the start that Shohei Otani is off to I’ve started to wonder if players where handled differently in other countries if we could’ve seen this before.

I’m not sure what your baseball experience was like growing up, but on most of the teams I played on the best pitcher on the team was also one of if not the best hitter on the team. That best pitcher would also play a regular position when he wasn’t on the mound to keep his bat in the line up. Somewhere down the line when it’s decided that this player will just be a pitcher the bat is taken out of his hands. Now on one side it’s understandable. You don’t want your best pitcher getting injured running the bases or any other odd way while not pitching, but hasn’t Otani now proven that the risk might’ve been worth it.

There was some talk of allowing San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner participate in the home run derby at last years All-Star game. Now Bumgarner is just a career .185 hitter, but he has been a better hitter the last four seasons and hit .258 in 2014. Bumgarner also has 17 career home runs.

Now Bumgarner isn’t the only pitcher who’s considered a better hitter than he should be. Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks is a career .218 with 6 home runs. Mike Leake was the last player to skip the minor and come straight up to the major leagues has a career batting average of .200 with 6 home runs. Leake is currently with the Seattle Mariners; so he won’t be getting any at bats this season unless they decided to pinch hit him. How about the guy who is probably the best pitcher in baseball right now Max Scherzer. While he’s just a career .192 hitter Scherzer currently has the best batting average of any pitcher who doesn’t get at bats as a Designated Hitter this season at .286. Of course since we’re located in the Chicago area I would be remiss to not include former Cubs pitcher Travis wood who is just a .185 career hitter, but has 11 career home runs in 8 seasons. Wood also famously played leftfield in a game and had to make a play on a fly ball that took him into the Wrigley Field ivy, but he did make the catch.

Is it possible that if the bat wasn’t take out of these pitchers hands when they started their minor league careers; could they have done what Otani is doing right now?

Speaking of Otani. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has decided to skip Otani’s start this Sunday. I found it humorous that they made this decision because they wanted to manage his work load. It just so happens that this Sunday’s start for Otani would’ve been in New York against the Yankees. So are the Angels managing his work load or avoiding the opportunity for him to get rocked by a good offense?

Otani has made seven starts and is 4-1 with an ERA of 3.35; so he has very good numbers. Now when you breakdown his seven starts you’ll notice that his worse start of this season was against the Boston Red Sox. Otani lasted just 2 innings giving up 4 hits; one of them being a home run, 3 earned runs while walking 2 and striking out just 1. This is the only loss on Otani’s record. The start against the Rec Sox was his 3rd of the season; his 4th start of the season was against the Houston Astros. Otani got a no decision pitching 5 1/3rd innings giving up 6 hits and 4 earned runs while walking 5 and striking out 7.

Now the Red Sox have the best record in baseball right now at 35-16 while the Astros are currently at 34-18. Now the Yankees are currently just a game behind the Red Sox in the American League East at 32-15. So again I have to ask; are the Angels really managing Otani’s work load or are they just allowing him to avoid pitching against a very good Yankees line up?

We had are first trade of the baseball season yesterday. Well technically it wasn’t the first trade, but it was the first trade where a player hadn’t been designated for assignment.

The Seattle Mariners acquired Outfielder Denard Span and reliever Alex Colome from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for two minor league right handed pitchers; Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. The Mariners will also receive cash considerations in this deal.

Colome has ben serving as the Rays closer, but it appears as though he’ll move into a right handed set up role for the Mariners as their current closer Edwin Diaz has converted 18 of his 20 saves chances and has an ERA of 1.71. Colome had 47 saves for the Rays last season and while he had converted 11 of his 13 saves opportunities he is 2-5 with an ERA of 4.15.

Juan Nicasio is the major league leader in holds with 14, but has an ERA of 5.56; so adding Colome in a set up role can take some of the pressure off of Nicasio. Don’t forget that the Mariners lost set up man David Phelps for the season. Phelps torn the UCL in his throwing elbow and has under gone Tommy John surgery; so adding Colome also helps with the loss of Phelps.

Span will be added to a Seattle outfield that almost seems to be injury prone. Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia have both missed time with injuries and Dee Gordon is currently on the disabled list with a fractured toe. Mitch Haniger was also hit with a pitch on Tuesday, but luckily x-rays where negative and Haniger won’t miss any time.

Span is in his 11th season, but it was just his first with Tampa Bay. He’s played in 43 games this season and is hitting .238. For his career Span is a .282 hitter. Even at the age of 34 Span still has a speed aspect to his game. He has stolen double digit bases every year of his career expect one; 2011 when he only played in 70 games due to injury. Span has 6 stolen bases this season.

It’s unclear how the Mariners will use Span and where he’ll play. He’s spent most of his time as a centerfielder, but the Rays used him exclusively this season in leftfield. Will have to wait and see how much playing time Span gets and where the Mariners decide to play him.

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You can look me up on Twitter @Burketime


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