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Episode 225 – Not Avisail Garcia
The latest episode of “Field of Streams” is live!
In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss Guaranteed Rate Field, other unfortunate name sponsors, Jeff Francoeur being in a three-team trade, Eddie Gaedel bobblehead night, an interesting Cole Hamels vs. Josh Tomlin matchup, the return of Ubaldo Jimenez, continuing to stream against the Brewers, Matt making a Chad Kuhl joke, and Yu Darvish’s first home run.
It’s not an outlandish question to ask. Over the last 30 days, which spans five starts and 32.1 innings, Marcus Stroman has posted the third highest strikeout rate in baseball and the lowest SIERA. Five starts is a tiny sample size, of course, but you can’t fake a high strikeout rate. Let’s go back a little further. Since my cherry-picked date of June 14, he has made 12 starts and has posted a strong 25.2% strikeout rate, low 4.2% walk rate, elite 61.5% GB%, and impressive 2.82 SIERA. You know who else has combined that type of strikeout ability, pinpoint control, and serious ability to induce grounders? Nobody.
The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live!
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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play
The Cleveland Indians have been among the best teams in baseball for the bulk of the year, which may or may not come as a surprise, depending on who you talk to. One of the more fascinating elements of their ballclub has been the recent emergence of Jose Ramirez. A team starved for offensive talent coming into the year has seen Ramirez serve as a catalyst in recent weeks, as they continue to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in the American League Central.
The total body of work paints a solid picture for the Indians’ third sacker, although not necessarily one that screams elite-level performance. He’s slashed .305/.359/.453/.812 for the year, with a 118 wRC+. He’s struck out less than 12% of the time and walks at a decent enough 7.3% clip. The power hasn’t necessarily been a large component of his game, with a .148 ISO that would rank him 20th among 24 qualifying third basemen. Speed is an element of his game that not many third basemen carry with them, as his 20 swipes rank second at the position. He’s certainly been an above average offensive player, in terms of his ability to reach and make things happen out on the basepaths, even if he doesn’t have the power stroke of some of his MLB counterparts.
It’s what he’s done in the past month, though, for a strong American League contender, that really makes him significant among a crowded 3B group.
A.J. Cole Breakdown
The National’s righty made a spot start for the Nationals on August 22 and allowed four runs over seven innings of work. To start getting a profile of Cole, here are his pitching comps using his 2016 MLB.com grade. Additionally, I included his previous grades which I will discuss in a bit.
The pitcher list isn’t that exciting with most pitchers falling into the #4 to #5 starter range.
The big note I took away from the grades, was his declining fastball grade from MLB.com. It was 70 in 2014, 65 in 2015, and 55 this year. Additionally, here are the velocity speeds stated in the Baseball America Handbook for each year.
Season: Fastball Speed Description
2014: “… sits at 94-95 mph and regularly hits 97.”
2015: “… pitched comfortably at 91-93 … and bumped 96.”
2016: “… sits comfortably in the low 90s, pushing as high as 96 mph …”
As Augusts wanes and football starts to rev up, a large percentage of fantasy baseball players begin to lose interest. Whether it is because they are falling (or have fallen) out of contention in their redraft leagues or the long grind of 162 games have begun to wear them out, mid to late August is where people start to check out. Read the rest of this entry »
“The trade deadline is fast approaching.” – Hard to believe that time is here. This season has flown by, hasn’t it? With just one week before rosters solidify for the final stretch, now is as good a time as ever to ensure new Ottoneu owners are fully prepared for the future, which is now fast becoming the off-season. Joe recently outlined the mindset that’s needed to approach the trade deadline strategically, depending on your place in the standings, but since it’s also my job to cover Ottoneu on these pages, I’ll take a more mechanical look at what happens at this critical point in the season.