Not much else to say about this game or the state of the pitching staff that I didn't already say in the recap. Corey Kluber and Scott Kazmir have their work cut for them, as they're going up against not only a hot Detroit lineup, but Doug Fister and Max Scherzer.
It used to be that shortstop was the stacked position in the American League, but now it looks like second base is the crowded position. Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia are in their primes, and you also have players like Howie Kendrick, Ben Zobrist, Ian Kinsler in the AL. So it wasn't a lock that Kipnis would make the team, but at the same time, I don't think Jim Leyland had much of choice. Kipnis and Pedroia are neck-and-neck in most total value measures (like fWAR) and Kipnis is having the best offensive first half of any AL second baseman (including Robinson Cano, who won the fan vote).
Masterson was more of a pleasant surprise. He's 9th in the AL in fWAR, behind some pitchers (Doug Fister, Derek Holland) who didn't make the club. It's likely that his three shutouts and his league leading innings helped sway Leyland.
Omar Vizquel is the latest mid-late 90s star to return to Cleveland. He's one of the last of that group to retire (Manny Ramirez and Bartolo Colon are the last two major players from that era still active), and Monday's bobblehead is the start of what could be a series of Vizquel-themed events. He'll likely be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame in the next couple of the years (though I think Albert Belle will be inducted first) and down the road, and perhaps 5-10 years down the road could be inducted into the Hall of Fame. As things look now, both Vizquel and Jim Thome will appear on the ballot in 2018 for the first time. By that time, it will have been 20 years since a player went into the Hall as an Indian (Larry Doby, 1998).
AL Central News
Well, it's just as the title says: Brayan Pena falls off his stool/Gatorade cooler.
A closer look whether Kauffman Stadium is suppressing Kansas City home run totals.The takeaway is that it's not the park, but the players the Royals have been sending out there. I agree.
The Ricky Nolasco saga is over, as the Marlins have traded to the Dodgers (along with the Marlins' $197,000 international signing bonus slot) for three pitching prospects, none of whom are considered top prospects. If you used the PTM criteria on the players going to the Dodgers:
- Angel Sanchez (Age 23, A+) - Nope, as he's been 2+ years older than his level for as long as he's been in the US. He probably has the best shot at becoming a major league contributor, but he's at least a couple years away.
- Josh Wall (Age 26, AAA/MLB) - Another no, and includes past years. He was a high school draft pick, but the results just haven't been there. Has a career 9.7 H/9, which should raise a lot of red flags.
- Steve Ames (Age 25, AAA) - Probably would have added him in 2011 after he pitched well in AA, though he doesn't profile as a late-inning guy. The Dodgers' version of Preston Guilmet, a late-round overachiever who's put up great numbers in the minors despite less-than-good scouting reports.
So yeah, the Dodgers didn't give up that much talent to get Nolasco, who is making $11.5M this year and will be a free agent next year. The contract had a lot to do with what the Marlins got back, as I don't believe Miami is going to offset any of Nolasco's remaining salary (haha). And let's be honest, Nolasco hasn't exactly been a good starting pitcher.
Today's Classic Clip
Seagulls help Shin-Soo Choo and the Indians (2009)