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Good morning baseball fans!
It was a bad day for Dodgers fans yesterday. First, they learned that left-handed starter Alex Wood would miss the next eight weeks after undergoing an elbow procedure.
Then, as if it couldn’t get worse, news broke that Clayton Kershaw may have to have back surgery, putting his 2016 status in question.
So it’s no surprise that the Dodgers are being rumored to be looking for ‘impact moves’.
We did have one move go down yesterday, with the Cubs acquiring lefty Mike Montgomery in a 4-player deal with the Mariners.
The White Sox might have just fixed Miguel Gonzalez.
Through 14 games, Gonzalez looks like another success story for Chicago. The cutter, together with his splitter and overall velocity, has pumped up his strikeout rate to a career-best 17.7 percent, while keeping his walks in check at 8.9 percent and depressing his home run rate to 2.2 percent. Even though his BABIP has risen for the third straight year, Gonzalez has still regained the sheen that he lost as his time in Baltimore wound down.
In a few hours, Gonzalez will take the hill against the Mariners, hoping to turn around his team's recent skid. Meanwhile, the Orioles will continue to run out Dylan Bundy,Yovani Gallardo, and Lord knows who else, hoping one of them can replicate what the club lost in Gonzalez. His case encapsulates the difference between the two organizations, and the men who have led their pitchers in recent years.
Here is a roundup of news from around the American League West.
The Cubs tried to acquire Drew Pomeranz as part of a huge plan to acquire a starter that was under even longer team control.
A group of Twins are drawing the most interest among those on the Minnesota roster.
The Brewers and Indians are discussing a potential deal that would send catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Cleveland.
A complete roundup of the reliever market can be found here.
Since he is a hot topic among trade candidates, how well have batters done against Aroldis Chapman’s fastball?
Even at his highest velocities, Chapman hasn’t been too wild. If anything, he’s encouraged swings. And that last column is the most dramatic one. On average, when hitters swing at a fastball, they hit it fair 40% of the time. That rate drops to 25% against Chapman’s B-level heaters. Against his A-level stuff, the rate dips further, to 18%. So, less than half of the league-average rate. It turns out there is a difference between 99 and 100, or 100 and 101. It feels like it shouldn’t matter at that point, but every split-second counts, and the freshest Aroldis Chapman really is untouchable. As untouchable as you can get, anyway. Hitters have almost no time to decide, which strips them of their ability.
There are your Aroldis Chapman results. At the highest velocity levels, he’s responsible for almost all the results in the game. One might take notice ofMauricio Cabrera, who’s already thrown 20 pitches at least 102. Half of those pitches have generated swings, and three have put a ball in play. In one sense, Aroldis Chapman finally has some company. In another sense, no, he probably doesn’t.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1973, Hank Aaron hits career home run number 700 against the Phillies.