Happy Lunar New Year everybody. Hope you all have a great Year of the Rat. How ironic that baseball will be without Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia this year.
Lots of news from Pedrioa’s club yesterday. JD Martinez defied MLB’s gag order to say the investigation into the Red Sox won’t find anything wrong. He says in 2018, the team simply got better. Like 15 wins and a World Series better.
One player who got substantially better was Mookie Betts. In 2017 he slashed .264/.344/.459 then jumped to an MLB level .346/.438/.640. That batting average and slugging percentage led all of baseball. It was almost as if he knew what was coming.
I love to watch Mookie in the field and he was still worth 6.4 bWAR in 2017. That jumped to 10.9 in 218 then back to a more normal-for-him 6.8 last year. That’s adding an All Star level amount of WAR on top of an already incredible player, then losing it again.
The San Diego Padres, however, seem to be interested in acquiring Mookie. Even at “only” 6.8 WAR he’d be an incredible get and teaming him with Machado and Tatis would make for good viewing.
Super agent Scott Boras weighed in on the players involved in the cheating scandal, saying they don’t owe anyone an apology. I’m sure that will sit well with his pitching clients on other teams.
Hopefully scandals like these fade into the rearview mirror soon. As Rob Manfred begins his second 5 year lap as commissioner, he discusses all the actions he’d like to take, baseballs, and robot umps. They’re coming.
My questions is this: if robot strike zones are only required because a handful of jackasses like Joe West make up the strike zone as they go along, will said jackasses listen to an earpiece telling them the strike zone?
Here’s something that can be discussed all weekend. Fangraphs has ZIPS projections for the 2020 Angels. Look at the positive WAR projections for the pitching staff. Not sexy, but a mile better than what we saw last year.
One last reminder about David Fletcher’s jersey retirement Saturday at 10:30 at Cypress High School. Come get an autograph and a picture and say hi if you can.
Have a great weekend and link what I missed.