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Good morning baseball fans!
Here is a roundup of news from around the American League West.
The Braves are interested in signing Tim Tebow to a minor-league deal, and it actually makes sense.
Rockies slugger Nolan Arenado has become a different hitter.
Arenado’s offensive profile has evolved every year of his career. After establishing himself as a defensive wunderkind in 2013, Arenado took a huge step forward in his sophomore campaign. His wOBA climbed from .308 to .359, and his wRC+, which heavily penalizes him for playing in Coors, jumped from 77 to 112. On top of that, he knocked out 18 home runs in only 467 plate appearances. Essentially, he went from an all-glove third baseman to a fairly good threat with the bat.
Then, last year, the power came in a big way. Arenado’s home run total jumped to a league-leading 42. However, over this period, Arenado had one lingering issue. His walk rate was abysmally low, floating around 5 percent. In 2016, things have changed. He’s nearly doubled that rate and now sits at 10.1 percent. Along with that, the continual rise of his wOBA and wRC+ has not skipped a beat with those jumping to career highs as well. Also, he still leads the NL in home runs, along with Kris Bryant.
Trea Turner is really, really fast.
This year’s NL Cy-Young Award may be a matter of quantity over quality.
Certainly, taking the mound matters, and if Kershaw doesn’t make it back for the Dodgers in September, it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to keep up with the other contenders who will have another month to put distance between him and themselves. But if Kershaw does come back, and pitches well, this could become a very interesting discussion indeed.
I’d be interested in hearing what you guys think. Should a guy who misses two months of the season be in the mix for the Cy Young award? If you had a vote, would you give Kershaw legitimate considering, even though he’s almost 70 innings behind Scherzer and counting? How much extra weight do you put on just taking the hill and giving the team’s bullpen a rest, even if the run prevention isn’t all that great in those extra innings? I don’t have the answer to these questions yet, and would happily listen to any guidance you guys want to offer.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1998, Mark McGwire becomes only the third player to reach sixty home runs in a season.