Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday a bit more bearable:
SS - Jean Segura
Yes, yes . . . He was an excellent prospect; that’s why the Brewers got him from the Angels last summer. As a rookie, though, Segura didn’t take real well to the National League, batting .264 without a single home run in 44 games. This season, though? He’s batting .364 with nine extra-base hits (including three homers!) in 24 games. Meanwhile, the 9-17 Angels can merely wonder what might have been…
LF - Nate McLouth
Nate McLouth is a testament to . . . something. Six years ago, McLouth came out of Nowhere to have a pretty good season with the Pirates, and a year later came out of Semi-Nowhere to lead the National League with 48 doubles and win a Gold Glove in center field. The next year, the Pirates traded McLouth to the Braves and he went back to being Nate McLouth, Journeyman Outfielder. Which he’s been ever since. Except this year, he’s the Orioles’ every-day left fielder and he’s batting .346 with a lot more walks than strikeouts.
Pitcher – Kevin Correia
So, so much fun. Correia is the thrilling apogee of the Minnesota Twins’ pitch-to-contact philosophy: Don’t strike anybody out, and the wins will come. Which is actually a really terrible philosophy. Except that Correia, who’s got only 15 strikeouts in 36 innings in this Age of the Strikeout, is also 3–1 with a 2.23 ERA. Granted, it’s not nearly as shocking as Jonathan Sanchez washing out with the Pirates. Still, I’ll bet you didn’t see this one coming.
From disappointing high expectations as a top prospect in Cleveland, to being stuck as an innings-eater in Oriole irrelevance, to the brief horrors of a mile-high exile as a Rockie, Guthrie has paid his dues and deserves a good turn. That he’s given the Royals more than one in kind is one of those happy developments. With the additions of James Shields and Ervin Santana to the rotation, Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore can reasonably brag that he’s managed to cobble together a better-than-average rotation in short order despite limited supply and limited cash. Thanks to their rotation, the Royals are in that gaggle of teams fighting for bragging rights to be second in the American League to the Detroit Tigers in quality-start percentage so far — just a tick or two below 60 percent — even as they fight to keep up with the heavily favored Motor City Kitties in the AL Central.
Has the Ducks’ reputation gotten to the point where the club doesn’t have to recruit and big names just sort of gravitate to the team?
Its a lot different than it was ten years ago. There’s no question In 2013, agents, players, and managers that are with or work with major league organizations know about the Atlantic League at this point. We’ve had more than 600 players signed to major league deals.
Let’s look at it from the perspective of a major league organization. If you’re running player development for a big league club, and you have a player that makes, say, 10K a month, and you want to give a younger guy an opportunity to see if he can perform at that level, you would have to keep that guy at 10K a month in Triple-A or spring training or extending spring to give your young guy a shot. Now, if he goes to an Atlantic League club, we really only have major league clubs to purchase our contract to repay the integrity of our contact. It’s not to profit from it, its not a big revenue source for us, we make our money from ticket sales and such.
If you’re a major league organization, and you go and you spend 4K to purchase that player, two months into the season, you would have paid that player 20K to have him. Not only did you give your younger payer an opportunity to prove himself, you’ve got 16K to spend elsewhere..Economically, we’ve benefited major league organizations, they see that using the Atlantic League as a place where they can pluck talent from.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!