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History can take a long time to make, and even longer to sort through. Other things happen very quickly, like Eury Pérez’s trip to the big leagues. Meanwhile, Will Smith has blossomed into a superstar, and Kenley Jansen has joined an impressive group of shooters. I’m Levi Weaver, here with Ken Rosenthal – Welcome to The Windup!
It used to be a time to see it and not say it
If there is life on other planets, I hope there will be a world in which it is enough simply to have an extraordinary idea, and there is no need for a complex and often tedious process to carry it out well. It really is one of the biggest design flaws on our planet, if you ask me.
Take, for example, MLB’s 2020 announcement that they will be merging Negro Leagues statistics into the official MLB stats registry. Prior to 1947, when Jackie Robinson debuted with the Dodgers, some of the best players in the world were not allowed to play in the league because of their race.
They were playing at the highest level available to them. (And lest there be any purists who think only AL/NL stats should count, the league has previously recognized six other leagues as “major leagues”.)
But as Stephen G. Nesbitt wrote in his article today, the process of consolidating these stats will take a lot longer than most people thought at the time of the announcement, and will likely be delayed further because the league couldn’t come to an agreement. With Seamheads to use their Negro Leagues database.
The Negro leagues are the big leagues – but merging their stats was no easy feat
All is not lost – the League will now work with Retrosheet, but their database is being assembled by an army of heroic volunteers, and may not be finalized for five years or more.
At the time of the announcement, it was assumed that integration of the stat sheets was imminent. In fact, it could take the better part of a decade. If the league He just said thatThis may not sound so frustrating, but it took a couple of months for the league to admit that it could be a lengthy process.
Ken’s Corner: “The Sky’s the Limit” by Uri Perez
In 11 seasons as a major league coach with the Yankees, Royals, and Mets, Dave Elland has worked with many of the best pitchers. But he said right-hand man Yuri Perez has the most raw talent out of anyone he’s mentored.
Perez, who turned 20 on April 15 and is listed at 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds, will make his major league debut with the Marlins on Friday. the athleteKeith Law rated him the best player of the game. Eiland, Perez’s pitching coach for the past two seasons at Double-A Pensacola, seconded that opinion.
“Wonderful kid. I can’t say enough about him as a person,” Eiland recounted in a text message Wednesday night. “Obviously very talented. very convincing. You will do what you ask of him.
“Tremendous physical awareness for a guy his size. Controls his body like it’s a 6-2, not a 6-9. Four notes, throws all-in by any number. He wants to be great and works hard to be. The sky’s the limit…”
For now, though, it might be best to temper expectations. Perez has thrown just 186 professional innings since the Marlins signed him for $200,000 from the Dominican Republic in 2019. Trevor Rogers and Johnny Cueto remain on Miami’s injured list.
The Marlins are a strange team. Last season, they lost 40 games in one inning, the most since the 1975 Astros. On Wednesday, their record in single-run games played this season improved to 12-0, the most consecutive wins in major league history. However, they finished last in key points, averaging 3.39 points per game.
Perez clearly can’t help but miss the offense, but he’s the Marlins’ hottest punt prospect since the late Jose Fernandez. Law cautioned, “Pitchers of this height don’t have a great track record for health.” But he also said, “There is no one among the minors with that kind of dexterity and deceit and ability to throw blows.”
Marlins Perez reported his promotion in a creative way especially Wednesday. Youngster Sandy Alcantara was greeted by the staff in a video that Pensacola manager Kevin Randle showed Perez on the laptop in his office, with Eiland at the pitcher’s side.
“I have bad news for you,” Alcantara joked in Spanish. “I will see your face every day now.”
If Perez fulfills his potential, his face could become one of the faces of baseball in the years to come.
You are living proof that dreams do come true
While doing a little research for today’s episode of the On Deck podcast, I glanced at the Dodgers team page on Baseball Reference and was a little surprised by what I saw.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the OPS team leader is not Freddie Freeman or Mookie Betts. Nor was Max Muncey and his 12 home runs, nor was rookie sensation James Ottman.
The catcher was Will Smith, with a streak of .329/.421/.605 (1.026 OPS)—and that was before he hit a home run to boost that last number to 1.045 in Wednesday’s 8-1 win over the Brewers. As of Wednesday, of at least 90 Rockets at bats, Smith ranks behind Atlanta’s Shaun Murphy in OPS.
But one number that separates Smith from the pack is the write-off rate. Of the 19 catchers on that list, only two have strikeout rates under 10 percent: Kibert Ruiz (8.3 percent) and Smith, with a paltry 6.3 percent. Smith ranks third in fWAR at 1.3, behind Murphy (2.4) and the Rangers’ Jonah Heim (1.8).
So it’s perfect timing for Fabian Ardea’s profile for Dodgers catcher, harkening back to his college days at Louisville and spending his time in 2018 chasing the big players.
Will you need another appointment? definitely.
When Kenley Jansen pushed Travis d’Arnaud to swing across the slider to end Boston’s 5-2 win over Atlanta on Wednesday, he joined some notable company: He became the seventh pitcher in MLB history to record 400 saves.
Again with good timing: Jane McCaffrey has a story this morning about how Jansen reinvigorated his career with the help of physical and mental therapy. As a result, not only has he become a more vocal captain and returned to enjoy playing the game, but he’s also returned to shape him into one of the league’s elite kinsmen.
After saving Wednesday — his ninth of the year — Jansen has a 0.77 ERA with 17 strikeouts and three walks in 11 2/3 innings pitched this year.
Jansen could continue to move up the list of career rescues if he continues to do so. It would take a good year to get through those three, but here are the three shooters ahead:
- Francisco Rodriguez (437)
- John Franco (424)
- Billy Wagner (422)
Handshakes and high fives
Michael Brantley and Chas McCormick are the latest reasons to wonder if there is a problem with the Astros’ return-to-play protocols. Brantley was expected to return to play this week, but as of Wednesday, no one on the squad has been able – or at least unwilling – to locate him.
The Mets won on Wednesday, but they still struggled. Tim Britton and Will Sammon have a back-and-forth to fix the biggest problems.
Part of Yankees hitting coach Dillon Lawson’s job is to keep hitters in a positive void, so maybe that’s why he’s “unconcerned” — at least publicly — about the team’s offensive production?
Speaking of battling offense, things didn’t get better in Cleveland.
We talked about fastball Bryce Miller earlier this week, but now the experts weigh in. Here is Eno Sarris with Corey Brook, discussing the starter arsenal.
Jim Bowden lists the biggest surprises of the year.
Nesbitt and I pick up this weekend’s series on today’s episode of On Deck, and bring you Arms Race.
Finally, check out this catch from Joey Gallo. The catch is impressive, but look at how much ground he covered to get there! Then he threw it to first base to complete a double play! Beautiful.
(Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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