It was 75 degrees when I got off the plane in Las Vegas Monday; problem is, I had been on that plane for 11 hours— more on that tomorrow.
Spring training starts next week; here are some baseball notes to keep you warm.
13) Houston Astros led MLB with a .478 slugging percentage LY and struck out only 1,087 times; they’re only second team since 1948 (’95 Indians) to lead league in SP while striking out the least amount of times in the league.
12) Atlanta Braves used nine 3rd basemen LY; with Chipper Jones getting in Hall of Fame this summer, it has been five years since he left Atlanta and they still haven’t found a replacement.
11) Chicago Cubs are 27-15 in their last 42 games against their rivals from St Louis.
10) Cubs had 100 quality starts in 2016, when they won the World Series; that number slipped to 77 last year, which put a big strain on their bullpen.
9) Speaking of which, Toronto’s bullpen threw 596.2 innings LY- thats 11 outs a game, which is just too much. If your starting pitchers can’t finish the 6th inning consistently, you’re in trouble.
8) Seattle Mariners made 219 player transactions last season; they used 61 different players, 15 of whom weren’t in Seattle’s organization when the season started.
7) Red Sox hit 168 homers last year, least in the American League.
6) Texas Rangers had three guys LY who hit 25+ homers while batting less than .210; they’re first team ever to do that.
5) Baltimore’s starting pitchers had a 5.70 ERA last year, which helps explain why they won 14 fewer games than in 2016.
4) Cincinnati Reds used 10 different ROOKIE starting pitchers LY; playing in their small home ballpark, thats just too many.
3) Angels’ first basemen hit a combined .231 LY; their second basemen hit .206, which is why they got Ian Kinsler. Albert Pujols is going to have to play a decent amount of 1B this year if Shotei Ohtani, is going to DH.
2) Detroit Tigers owe Miguel Cabrera $184M over the next six years; Cabrera is going to be 35 in April, so it is doubtful they’ll be able to get out from under that back-loaded contract.
1) Oakland A’s allowed 82 unearned runs LY, most in baseball; they made 121 errors, which is unacceptable. Maybe they shouldn’t have let infield coach Ron Washington bolt to Atlanta.