Are the Diamondbacks screwing up pitchers? And is our usual approach to those questions the right one?
I remember on Opening Day, when Brandon McCarthy was facing the Giants, and it seemed like he might just be the Cy Young front-runner. He struck out all three batters in the first. He got the Giants in order on seven pitches in the second. His curveball was lethal, and his fastball
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How much of Danny Duffy's breakout season can be traced to James Shields?
On July 21st, the Royals dropped to eight games below the Tigers, following a fourth consecutive loss. The negativity that so often envelopes Kansas City baseball returned. Fans checked prospect lists rather than the standings in preparation for the trade deadline, and some even rationalized that a fruitful haul would be preferable to a spot in the Wild Card game. That and other beliefs about this year's team have since been challenged, as the Royals have claimed first place after winning 17 of their past 21 games.
Scouts' takes on Chris Davis, Aaron Judge, Sean Manaea, and other interesting players.
Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.
Fourteen-strikeout facts and trivia, plus your guide to how to spend your baseball time this weekend.
The Thursday Takeaway Max Scherzer last struck out at least 14 batters on May 20, 2012 and the Pirates were on the receiving end of his nastiness. In the intervening 28 months, only one pitcher—Yovani Gallardo on July 15, 2012—so thoroughly carved up the Bucs.
Yesterday, we found out that the Missourian’s assault on Pittsburgh two years ago was no fluke. Scherzer and the Pirates are simply a match made in strikeout heaven.
If these players are on your waiver wire, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.
Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota Twins
With Arcia having played the 162nd game of his young career, his overall fantasy line— .241 average, 24 homers, 72 RBI and 61 runs scored—doesn’t exactly scream mixed league stalwart. Sure, the power is nice, but he’s also racked up 196 strikeouts over that timeframe—good for a 30.7 percent rate. That’s not going to help him improve on that batting average. However, Arcia’s track record in the minor leagues suggests that he’s not this type of player, and he seems to be heating up of late. While he’s been particularly hot in August, his turnaround has been happening for longer than that. On June 22nd, he was sitting on a 29 at-bat hitless streak and a .638 OPS for the season, but after getting a few days off, Arcia got out from underneath that boulder and has proceeded to hit .260/.350/.463 with six homers in 36 games since. That would be good enough to be relevant in most mixed leagues that start five outfielders, but Arcia’s upside exceeds what he’s done at the major league level thus far. After all, he was a career .314 hitter in the minor leagues (over 434 games). —Bret Sayre
Has MLB given up on stopping intentional beanballs?
One of my least favorite hot takes in all of sports comes when people say that the National Hockey League should ban fighting. Not because I find the sport’s method of supposed self-regulation to be at all attractive but simply because fighting in hockey is banned. Know how I know it’s banned? Because not only is it a penalty to fight, it’s a major penalty. The NHL banned shooting the puck over the glass from your own zone a few years back, and you only get two minutes for that; thus certainly fighting is banned if it's five.
So technically you are not allowed to throw at hitters in Major League Baseball. If you hit someone, he goes to first, which, if it’s leading off the inning, costs about a third of a run. And if you miss, the 1–0 count isn’t good either. And these days you’ll probably try again. Sometimes you’ll even get ejected like Randall Delgado did when he punctuated Andrew McCutchen last week.
The blues run the game, so is there anything to be done about Rule 7.13? Also the rest of Wednesday's action and Thursday's previews.
The Wednesday Takeaway
On Tuesday, the Phillies stymied the Angels for five innings, only to watch them erupt for seven runs in the sixth. Yesterday, White Sox starter Jose Quintana worked around a leadoff triple by Buster Posey in the fourth inning to hold the Giants scoreless through six.
That gave the South Siders’ offense ample time to solve their old mate, Jake Peavy, who was seeking his first win in a Giants uniform. Adam Dunn did ...
The Doug Fister/First Place correlation gets even stronger.
The Tuesday Takeaway
The Nationals dropped two of three to the Braves over the weekend, shrinking their division lead to 3 1/2 games. A visit to Citi Field was just what the doctor ordered to stop any potential skid in its tracks.