What better way to spend a portion of your hump day than reading baseball opinions on a sports blog?
Rumor Mill: It’s mid-May and the Colorado Rockies are 11-18. That means only one thing — our first Troy Tulowitzki trade rumors of the season. Yippee! Hooray! Orange Whips on the house.
Joel Sherman in the New York Post spoke to Tulowitzki’s agent, Paul Cohen, about whether or not they’d press Rockies management for a trade. The tie here is that the Mets could use a shortstop and this fleeting rumor simply won’t go away.
“To say that it is not a possibility would be silly,” Cohen told The Post by phone.
For his part Tulowitzki gave The Denver Post some boilerplate material:
“I really don’t have a clue — honestly, ” Tulowitzki said Tuesday before the Rockies played the Angels. “I just know that I don’t want all of this hanging over my head every day I come to the ballpark. This game is hard enough as it is.”
In short, the Rockies probably waited too long to trade Tulowitzki to get a king’s ransom in return that would help rebuild their farm system. His contract, including this season, is for six years and $118 million. The oft-injured Tulowitzki is coming off hip surgery, too. The 30-year-old is putting up a .298/.306/.483 line so far in 2015.
The Post alleges Tulowitzki is “tired” of losing in Colorado, which posted four consecutive sub-.500 years coming into 2015. Tulowitzki only played in 407 games over that period.
Tulowitzkis name value — especially in fantasy circles — probably carries more weight than his actual value, once you weigh in the contract and his injury history. If Tulowitzki forces the issue or the Rockies get desperate, sure, it might be worth a flier on him. Other than that, giving away young, viable prospects for an aging player with a bad track record for staying on the field and who might not play shortstop all that much longer doesn’t make all that much sense.
Meanwhile in the American League: I was texting with a friend yesterday afternoon and offered a question: currently who is the “best” shortstop in the American League? For the purposes of this post we can extrapolate it to mean, who’ll start at short in the All-Star game for the AL? I honestly don’t have a great, sure-fire answer.
Basic counting stats hardly tell the whole story, we know this. MLB does put the usual five categories on its online ballot.
Detroit’s Jose Iglesias is hitting an AL-shortstop best .349 and is great defensively. Oakland’s Marcus Semien is the best home run hitter with six. He and Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez jointly lead in RBIs with 15. If he didn’t get hurt Jed Lowrie might merit consideration. Among the qualified leaders as of Wednesday morning only Semien and Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar sport OPS’s above .700. Jose Reyes, the biggest “name” at the position, was only batting .250 before he got hurt.
Long story short– it’s not 1998 anymore.
Highlight reel: This is fairly self-explanatory. Highlights. From Baseball!
Kole Calhoun made a great diving catch. I wonder if he ever dreams of creating an alias by the name of Cole Kalhoun?
MLB keeps pumping its Statcast technology. So in that regard it’s somewhat cool to know Giancarlo Stanton’s mega homer left Dodger Stadium traveling 114 mph. I don’t think that’s enough speed to leave the atmosphere and go into orbit, however.
Chris Sale made this look easy against Ryan Braun last night in Milwaukee. Sale also scattered three hits and struck out 11. He is a better pitcher than a fighter.
Fun night for Kris Bryant against the Mets and rookie Noah Syndergaard. Bryant finished with a homer, triple and for good measure an infield single. Bryant now sports a 140 OPS+ in 23 games, with 34 strikeouts and 20 walks.
Random Stat for a Wednesday: The Nationals only have four stolen bases, as a team, on the season. The Dodgers, Rockies and White Sox are also in single-digits in the middle of May. Washington is sixth in runs scored, so the lack of steals isn’t much of a detriment to the offense.
Junk: Alfredo Simon threw Torii Hunter a pair of “eephus” pitches last night in the Tigers’ 2-1 walk-off win over the Twins. The MLB At Bat app classified them as “eephus” pitches, rating them in the 61-63 mph range. This sort of ploy tends to work against someone like Hunter who’s never seen a pitch he wouldn’t swing at, fittingly he popped up on the second one after some laughter.
The result of the eephus wasn’t quite like this trip down memory lane with a young, spry A-Rod taking Orlando Hernandez deep at old Yankee Stadium.
This & That: Giants rookie Chris Heston struck out 10 Astros in a complete game where he allowed one run. San Francisco is now a game over .500. … Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt homered again, giving him nine on the season. He now boasts the No. 2 OPS and WAR in all of baseball, just as we all predicted. … Andre Ethier went 5-for-5 in the Dodgers big win over the Marlins. …