The long national nightmare is over
We have all been extremely harsh on Mike Aviles this year, and rightfully so. He has added absolutely nothing on offense for the Tigers. But this wasn’t really his fault; he’s just not very good. This was a management mistake. Mike Aviles should not have been on this team. Al Avila finally fixed that mistake yesterday.
When asked about the trade, Avila stated the painfully obvious. This is a funny tweet.
Avila on Aviles: "I think he played more than we really wanted him to play at this point. That was probably part of the problem."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) August 17, 2016
It’s tough to tell how much the signing cost the team and whether the fix was too late. But I’m not sure I could watch Aviles flail at another off-speed pitch. So, thank you, Al, for admitting your mistake and remedying the situation.
Oh how about that, Zach Britton is good.
It appears that everyone suddenly realized that Zach Britton has a real shot at the AL Cy Young yesterday. My twitter feed blew up with Zach Britton content. I mean, it’s definitely warranted. The guy hasn’t given up an earned run since April. And there hasn’t been a dominant starting pitcher in the American League. These two elements could produce your first Cy Yong closer in recent history (shout out to the comments section for setting me straight).
The argument even turns into a bout of MVP inception. If you recall, any time a pitcher is up for League MVP, the first argument is that they are not everyday players and should not hold the honor. So when considering closers for the Cy Young, there is a similar “limited impact” argument.
There's no way a pitcher who has thrown just 50 innings -- and might not even reach 70 -- is going to be as valuable as even the 10th-best starting pitcher in the league who throws 200-plus innings.
Jeff Sullivan takes a more analytical approach, which he should, since he’s writing for a site called “FanGraphs.”
But Britton has an average plate-appearance leverage of 1.83, while Kluber comes in at 0.82. You could interpret that to mean Britton has thrown 91.5 “effective” innings, while Kluber’s at 128.7. Not so far now!
When applying the leveraged situation that Britton is throwing in, his effective innings jumps to near-starter totals. That’s a bit of a leap in math, but it speaks to the value of a lights out closer. I’m totally for a closer getting the nod. Just not this year. This year it’s going to Michael Fulmer.
A-Rod at peace.
Alex Rodriguez played his final game on Friday contributing an RBI double in a win. However, the most important part of this game was MLB’s headline in the recap.
Man, that even makes someone as corny as me blush. Anyway, there was some chatter that the Marlins were interested in his services but A-Rod has decide to ride off into the sunset never to be seen again.*
*For 2 months until he is hired for TV and haunts us for the next 30 years.
I’m not sure about this backstop’s feng shui
Ever wonder which MLB stadiums have the best bullpens? I’m sure you haven’t, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t now. Sean Doolittle gives you a look behind the chain link fence at some of the best spots to warm up before sitting back down after JV comes back out for the ninth.
But I thought Michael Brantley was hurt?
It was pretty clear that the Indians had the pitching to compete, but would the offense supply the runs? They have, even without Michael Brantley. How is that possible? Well they are having career years out of Rajai Davis, Mike Napoli, Marlon Byrd, and Juan Uribe. Baseball, predictable as always.