Spare Change – The Pulse on MLB


Chris Sale’s Pedro Martinez impression

  • By achieving double digit strikeouts for an eighth straight game, Sale becomes the first pitcher since the 1999 edition of Pedro to perform this feat.
  • Unfortunately for Sale he plays for the 2015 Chicago White Sox and not the 1999 Boston Red Sox. During Pedro’s eight game double digit strikeout streak, his team went 7-1; the White Sox have managed to go 3-4 during Sale’s run.
  • Wins and losses aside, what Sale has managed to do in the month of June is astounding to say the least. For June, Sale has thrown 41.1 innings, struck out 72, walked 8 and surrendered 25 hits. Imagine if he played for a half decent team?


How Do You Replace Gio?

  • Not only does Giancarlo Stanton’s wrist injury prevent baseball fans from seeing him smack a pitch on a nightly basis, but it also robs fans of a potential historic power display at the Home Run Derby in Cincinnati later this month. I am sure I am not the only one who was hoping that Gio knocked a ball out of the park and into another state, a la Adam Dunn.
  • Don’t worry though Marlins fans, although you will have to do without the services of Gio Stanton for the next 4 to 6 weeks, at least you will be able to get the services of 2013 Rookie of the Year award winner, Jose Fernandez, back this week.
  • For baseball fans looking for someone to fill the void created by Stanton’s wrist injury, look no further than the Rockies 24 year old 3B, Nolan Arenado. The 3x Gold Glove winner, who is known more for his glove than his bat, has already set new career highs in both Home Runs and RBI’s. In fact, his 2015 stat line of .292 AVG/24 HR/68 RBI and a .945 OPS in 70 games, has put him in the conversation for NL MVP, along with Paul Goldschmidt and Bryce Harper.


So Long, Farewell…

  • In the past week there have been two more casualties on the managerial and front office front. The Angels GM, Jerry Dipoto, and (former) Phillies manager, Ryne Sandberg, will join Ron Roenicke and Mike Redmond as they leaf through the MLB classifieds.
  • Sandberg’s resignation is nothing really surprising seeing as how poorly the Phillies have played to date. What is surprising is that long time embattled Phillies GM, Reuben Amaro Jr., is somehow still employed. Seriously though, how does this guy still have a job?! His refusal to trade his aging core has only hampered a Phillies organization that is in desperate need of a fire sale and rebuild.
  • Jerry Dipoto’s resignation is just the latest front office blunder to come out of the Angels organization this season. First there was the Josh Hamilton relapse in the offseason, then there was the subsequent messy divorce between the Angels and Hamilton that played out publicly, and now it looks like Dipoto’s resignation comes on the heels of a falling out between him, and Angels manager, Mike Scioscia.
  • It is a little surprising that the organization would take Scioscia’s side, and basically force Dipoto into resignation, especially with Scioscia having the ability to opt out of his contract at the end of this season. If he does choose to do so, not only will he leave a remaining $18 million on the table, but he will also be one of the most highly sought after managers to hit the market in a long time.

dave stewart

The Curious Case of the Diamondbacks

  • Two weeks has come and gone since the Diamondbacks packaged 2014 1st round pick, Toukki Toussaint, along with Bronson Arroyo’s contract, to the Braves for a utility infielder named, Phil Gosselin. Diamondbacks General Manager, Dave Stewart, said that Toussaint had been bypassed on the prospect depth chart by their 2015 draft class, one that was heavy on college pitchers.
  • Personally, it sounds like another situation of the Diamondbacks mishandling a young pitcher and giving up on them far too early. Remember when they traded Trevor Bauer for a relief pitcher (Tony Sipp) and an all glove/no bat shortstop (Didi Gregorious)? This Toussaint deal has that same stench all over it.
  • Furthermore, saying that they traded Toussaint because he has more or less become expendable is a pretty weak excuse. How do you include a top 10 prospect as a throw-in for a minor league utility infielder? Even saying that Toussaint was a throw-in in order to move Arroyo’s contract is bad asset management to say the least.
  • Even if Toussaint had been “passed” on the depth chart by this year’s draft class, is having too many young pitchers a bad thing? Especially for a team that seems to be in a constant rebuild like the Diamondbacks appear to be.


Braves Doing Braves Things

  • How long did it take the Braves to accept the Toussaint/Arroyo for Gosselin trade? Was it instantaneous or did they drag it out for dramatic effect?
  • In the past 6 months, the Braves have managed to add Mike Foltynewicz, Matt Wisler, Manny Banuelos and now, Toukki Toussaint from their original teams of origin. Not bad at all, especially considering that the only REAL players of worth that they lost were Justin Upton and Evan Gattis. No one is shedding tears over losing David Carpenter or the other Upton; the one formerly known as B.J.
  • Now factor in MLB starters Julio Teheran, Shelby Miller and Alex Wood, plus their own homegrown starting pitching prospect, Lucas Sims, and the Braves have a pretty formidable depth of pitching to say the least.


Best of the Rest

  • After missing out on a no hitter in his previous start, Max Scherzer came a Starling Marte hit by pitch away from throwing a perfect game; instead he had to settle for a no hitter. Despite the criticism for apparently “leaning in” to the pitch, I believe that Marte was just “staying in” to see the break on the slider and didn’t go out of his way to move out of the Scherzer offering. I am sure that anybody else in that situation would have done the same thing.
  • First “Mad” Max Scherzer, then Marco “Polo” Estrada and now Mike Montgomery. The Mariner’s southpaw has become the latest starter to post back to back dominant outings. With his back to back shutouts, Montgomery became only the eighth pitcher since 2010 to perform the feat, and the second one this season; Scherzer being the first.
  • Looks like the Astros were on to something when they passed over Kris Bryant and Byron Buxton in order to draft a 17 year old shortstop named Carlos Correa. The 20 yr old is currently hitting .287 with 3 HR and 15 RBI in 22 games, and that isn’t including the little league home run he hit against the Yankees.

  • Miguel Sano’s arrival in the Twin Cities should help soften the blow for Twins fans currently mourning Byron Buxton’s thumb injury and subsequent DL stint. Both Twins and baseball fans alike have been awaiting Sano’s arrival since he was signed as a 16 year old back in 2009. Now 22 and back from Tommy John surgery, Sano is poised to make his MLB debut later this week.
  • Does anyone else find themselves picturing Mookie Betts in a pullover V-neck jersey? Seriously, dude’s skill set screams for him to be playing in the 1980’s NL East.

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