March/April MLB News and Notes

jon abbey

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Josh Hader, 2023

56.1 innings, 8 ERs (1.28 ERA)

Josh Hader, 2024

7.2 innings, 8 ERs (9.39 ERA)
 

E5 Yaz

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Josh Hader, 2023

56.1 innings, 8 ERs (1.28 ERA)

Josh Hader, 2024

7.2 innings, 8 ERs (9.39 ERA)
I find the Astros start fascinating. I would guess that most of us think they'll turn it on at some point and this will be forgotten; but I do wonder if there's something more to it than just a slow start
 

Comfortably Lomb

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I find the Astros start fascinating. I would guess that most of us think they'll turn it on at some point and this will be forgotten; but I do wonder if there's something more to it than just a slow start
Their team does seem good though, right? I'm reminded of the 2011 Red Sox. Dug a 2-10 hole to start the year but did climb out of it. Only going 7-20 in September really killed them (that team DID win 90 games). Maybe the Astros should stay away from chicken and beer as the playoff approach.
 

Big Papa Smurph

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Behind the Marlins' decision to option No. 3 prospect Meyer
"Tough sending Max out, obviously, one of our better pitchers if not the best pitcher so far in the early part of the season," manager Skip Schumaker said. "We kind of let him know that there was a chance this was going to happen just to protect him and what our organization thinks of him and how highly they think of him, because of his workload and innings that he's had the last couple years. Combined, there's not too many innings on that arm. So [president of baseball operations] Peter [Bendix] laid out kind of a game plan on what that looks like moving forward and talking with Max, and I think we're all on the same page."
According to Schumaker, Meyer will not be shut down. Rather, he will pitch once a week in three-inning stints for the Jumbo Shrimp so he can be available in the second half. The entire pitching staff’s workload will be something to monitor as the season progresses.
The Marins have decided to option their best pitcher - Max Meyer (17 inning pitched, 3 walks, 14 strikeouts, 2.12 era) to monitor his usage and preserve his arm for the second half. Meyer is coming off a missed season due to Tommy John surgery. On the surface this seems reasonable, but I have a few thoughts.

- 3 inning stints might cause a pitcher to air it out for that short period of time, instead of pacing himself.
- When he comes back to the majors in the second half, he might not be stretched out enough to be an effective 5 inning starter.
- If you are trying to win games at the major league level, sending your best pitcher down to the minors seems anti-competitive. Can't you just monitor his usage at the major league level?
 

jon abbey

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Cristian Javier to the IL with neck discomfort, it is getting late early for the Astros.
 

dynomite

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Cristian Javier to the IL with neck discomfort, it is getting late early for the Astros.
I did a double take when I checked the standings and saw they're 7-16, 4th worst in MLB! That's wild.

Still, with Verlander back and the Mariners and Rangers treading water, I fully expect the Astros to be in the thick of things in July, but there's always a chance this is just one of "those years" and the bottom falls out with underperformance/injuries/back luck, a little like the 2019 Red Sox who got off to a rough April (11-17) and never really recovered.
 

E5 Yaz

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I can't imagine what this board would be like if the Red Sox went through an Orioles-type rebuild
 

HfxBob

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Offense is down significantly so far this year.

April/24 MLB OPS .696
April/23 MLB OPS .726
 

staz

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Offense is down significantly so far this year.

April/24 MLB OPS .696
April/23 MLB OPS .726
Not sure how significant this drop is with a week left, but IIRC league-wide HR are down while hard hit% and max exit velocities are in line with previous years. Points to changes with the ball.
 

HfxBob

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Not sure how significant this drop is with a week left, but IIRC league-wide HR are down while hard hit% and max exit velocities are in line with previous years. Points to changes with the ball.
Seems crazy that there are more changes with the ball, doesn't it? It's like the neverending story. Especially strange that they would do something that depresses scoring again.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Seems crazy that there are more changes with the ball, doesn't it? It's like the neverending story. Especially strange that they would do something that depresses scoring again.
Part of the issue is they aren't very good at manufacturing a consistent product, even if they aren't putting a thumb on the scale.
 

InsideTheParker

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Petagine in a Bottle

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Abreu is hitting .099. Slugging .113. -1.5 bWAR since the beginning of last year. Remember all the geniuses (like me) who thought the Sox should sign him last year? Yikes!
 

dynomite

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Oooof Mike Trout knee surgery, hopefully not out for the season. Just unfair. #27 baseball player ever according to Posnanski's Baseball 100 which everyone should read. He was off to an incredible start and even stealing bags again.

Ugh. Here's hoping he plays in meaningful baseball again before he hangs 'em up (ideally after being traded somewhere in the NL).

Angels outfielder Mike Trout requires knee surgery, per Alden González and Jeff Passan of ESPN. Angels general manager Perry Minasian says it’s for a torn meniscus, per González.
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2024/04/mike-trout-to-undergo-knee-surgery.html
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Ugh. Here's hoping he plays in meaningful baseball again before he hangs 'em up (ideally after being traded somewhere in the NL).
It’s a weirdly unpopular opinion around here, but I’d probably still take him on the Red Sox. Even with the new knee injury!
 

simplicio

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That sucks, like it always does.

I hope there's a better timeline somewhere out there in which Trout has a long and healthy career.
 

dynomite

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What? When was he hurt? Sheesh.
Yeah, I remember in 2022 they announced he had a chronic back issue that could impact the rest of his career: https://www.si.com/mlb/angels/news/angels-news-mike-trout-reveals-latest-update-on-his-back-injury-nc2000#:~:text=Trout had a rare back,the rest of his career.

He just seems cursed.

It’s a weirdly unpopular opinion around here, but I’d probably still take him on the Red Sox. Even with the new knee injury!
Fun to dream about! Anyone who doesn't want Mike Trout on their team in a vacuum I don't understand. But it doesn't seem like it'll ever happen. He's all that's left on the hollowed out Angels, and they owe him $37M/year until 2030 when he'll be 38. And he's played in 82 or fewer games 3 of his past 4 seasons.

He'll probably retire as an Angel and one of the biggest "What Ifs" in MLB history. Dude's got 378 HR and 212 SB with a 178 OPS+ and hasn't even been healthy in years. He's the modern Willie Mays (his #2 comp through age 31, their stats are eerily similar) but I worry he's just never going to be healthy enough again to live up to it.
 

Late Yclept Chanticleer

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#27 baseball player ever according to Posnanski's Baseball 100 which everyone should read.
Tangential tidbit - I'd imagine Posnanski considers Trout better than 27th as far as best players go. The players were all all-time greats and loosely ranked such that you wouldn't find a Mays/Trout/Ruth level guy in the, I dunno, 40 or above tiers, but Joe has said on the Poscast that he had some fun when assigning the actual number to the player. Trout wears #27, guessing that's it. Note Joe Dimaggio at 56...
 

E5 Yaz

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Tangential tidbit - I'd imagine Posnanski considers Trout better than 27th as far as best players go. The players were all all-time greats and loosely ranked such that you wouldn't find a Mays/Trout/Ruth level guy in the, I dunno, 40 or above tiers, but Joe has said on the Poscast that he had some fun when assigning the actual number to the player. Trout wears #27, guessing that's it. Note Joe Dimaggio at 56...
So he probably should have just listed them alphabetically
 

jon abbey

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So he probably should have just listed them alphabetically
No, I do this with catalog numbers on my record label too. You can't move them anywhere, but if he was going to put Trout between 25-29 (guessing) anyway, no reason not to add some extra significance and make it 27.
 

Late Yclept Chanticleer

Wily Mo No Mo'
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So he probably should have just listed them alphabetically
No, I do this with catalog numbers on my record label too. You can't move them anywhere, but if he was going to put Trout between 25-29 (guessing) anyway, no reason not to add some extra significance and make it 27.
Exactly, Jon. It's more telling the stories of the greatest players than a hard and ultimately subjective ranking of them. We can get a list of most WAR or whatever sliced up however we want for ranking purposes. But it's "The Baseball 100," not "The 100 Best Baseball Players In Order." A narrative, not a spreadsheet. I dig it.
 
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jon abbey

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Interesting! That's fun.
I will put it in spoilers as it has nothing to do with baseball, but a few examples for anyone interested.

The first one I thought of was I did two titles on my main Erstwhile label with crucial 20th century composer/thinker Christian Wolff. The first was recorded in 2014 in the same hall at Harvard (Paine Hall) where John Cage and David Tudor premiered Wolff's 'Duo for Pianists I' in 1957. 1957!! Anyway, it was recorded when Christian was 80 and it is Erstwhile 080. And then soon after, he did another one for me, recorded in 2017 when he was 83, that was Erstwhile 083.

And one with less significance but just nicely spaced, Antoine Beuger's first two Ersts were Erstwhile 068 and 083 so I made the third one 098 even though 095-97 hadn't come out yet. Sonically it works well as a trilogy too so the even spacing is perfect.

Or when two musicians decided to title their project 'Thirteen 13', I moved the catalog number to 085, just for 8+5.
 

axx

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Fun to dream about! Anyone who doesn't want Mike Trout on their team in a vacuum I don't understand. But it doesn't seem like it'll ever happen. He's all that's left on the hollowed out Angels, and they owe him $37M/year until 2030 when he'll be 38. And he's played in 82 or fewer games 3 of his past 4 seasons.
I was thinking about this... and I do think it's time that he goes somewhere else. You're right that finding a good trade partner is going to be tough. Plus IIRC it's not entirely clear that Trout is even interested in being on a Big Money team either.

The Angels have 6 more years of this.
 

jon abbey

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Standings by division, games over/under .500 and combined run differential (through 5/5)

AL East: +21, +63
AL Central: +4, +22
AL West: -14, -47

NL East: +3, -2
NL Central: +5, -4
NL West: -19, -32

Funny because it seems like every high profile FA ended up in the NL West this offseason.