Ray's Ramblings - No Vlad, No Eloy
Vlad Guerrero will not play in the big leagues this season. Neither will Eloy Jimenez. It’s a disappointing end to the season for both men who performed exceedingly well this season. You were warned that it might happen though. Shohei Ohtani has suffered further damage to his elbow throwing his future into doubt. Ray will also touch on the struggles of Glasnow and Kopech. Alcantara is staring. Cruz is blasting. Diaz has homers, so does Gattis. Mikolas is slowing. Ditto Severino. So, had Muncy. Morrow may not return. Rosario is streaking. Ditto Story. Wheeler is ok while Peraza and Chris Shaw are going in opposite directions.
VLAD AND ELOY NOT COMING UP
As I’ve warned since March, there was always a very real possibility that youngsters Vlad Guerrero and Eloy Jimenez would never appear in the big leagues this season. It’s all about service time (which you can read about here).
Check out the nonsense, or in plain speak lies, that Jays President Mark Shapiro laid out about the Vlad situation.
Here is what the White Sox had to say about Jimenez. Here are the words of GM Rick Hahn. “Our track record’s pretty clear on this, when we feel a player is developmentally ready to fulfill, or put in the best position to fulfill and meet their ceiling, we will advance them to the next level…. With Eloy, we’re not looking to develop a 21-year-old DH. Offensively, he’s in a very good spot, but we view him much higher… he’s had a very good year offensively, we’re looking to develop him as a well-rounded, impact player.”
Again, I said all along that these two, particularly Vlad, wouldn’t appear in the big leagues this season. I was crucified by so many of you that follow my work. Yet as I sit here and write this piece, I’ve heard from one person who said I was right. One. The next time you want to bash me for being an idiot, maybe you should hold off on that bashing and at least consider what I have to say. Sometimes, I know what I’m talking about.
The final numbers…
Vlad: .381-20-78-67-3 with a 1.073 OPS in 95 games.
Eloy: .337-22-75-64-0 with a .961 OPS in 108 games
OHTANI AND HIS ARM
Shohei Ohtani had PRP work done on his elbow this offseason (you can read about that procedure here). The hope was that it would allow him to avoid further damage to his UCL and allow him to pitch without needing Tommy John surgery. Not so much. It has been revealed that Ohtani has further damaged his UCL. T.J. surgery was recommended, but Ohtani has not decided when or if he will have the procedure (of course, semantics are involved here as he will have the surgery at some point). Ohtani is likely to require a roughly six-month time period after the surgery to return to hitting full-time. That means if he has the surgery this month, he should be ready to hit at the start of next season. As this Jeff Passan article points out, doctors believe that hitting will not be an obstacle in his recovery, mostly because he throws righty and hits lefty. As for pitching, it’s likely that his 2019 season is gone in terms of being up on the hill. He should be able to return to pitching in 2020. Some further data points.
1 – Ohtani found out about the elbow damage and then went out last night and hit two homers while going 4-for-4 with four runs and three RBI in a remarkable effort. Oh yeah, he also stole a base. Wow is right!
2 – Ohtani is likely to, as stated above, continue hitting next season as he recovers from surgery.
3 – Ohtani is unlikely to pitch next season.
4 – Just how many innings can we expect him to throw, even if his elbow is repaired? In 2016, he threw 140-innings. In 2017, he threw 25.1 innings. In 2018, he threw 51.2 innings. That means the last time he threw 150-innings was 2015, and he’s never thrown 162 innings in his life.
5 – Finally, the guy cost himself TONS of money coming to America. As Steve Phillips pointed out, many in baseball thought Ohtani might have been able to command $200 million if he waited until the age of 25 to come to the majors. Instead, he came over as a 23-year-old, was subject to much harsher rules because of his age, and instead got $2.3 million. So, for under 300 plate appearances, and less than 55 innings, he gave way untold gazillions of dollars. Yikes.
THIS AND THAT
Sandy Alcantara looked sharp against the Phillies tossing seven scoreless frames with six strikeouts and just two walks. That’s one run in 12 innings this season. He’s worth streaming consideration the rest of the way.
Nelson Cruz hit a homer Wednesday. That’s 34 homers and 85 RBI for the ageless slugger.
Aledmys Diaz has 17 homers for the Blue Jays. A nice AL-only play has he been.
Evan Gattis hasn’t been playing much of late due to the streaking Tyler White, but Gattis has 25 homers and 73 RBI this season, which should get him a pass that he’s not getting from so many angry owners. How many catcher-eligible players have gone 25-73? The answer is one – Gattis. By the way, Salvador Perez has 23 homers, a fourth straight season of at least 21 homers.
Tyler Glasnow – yikes. In a start that pretty much erased all the positivity that he had generated since joining the Rays, Glasnow generated two outs against the Jays while allowing seven runs. With that, his ERA with the Rays jumped to 5.17, his WHIP to 1.05. There’s obviously immense talent here, but until he can limit outings like this one, he will still be more about skills than any type of refinement.
Michael Kopech dealt with rain, yet again; the third time in four outings he’s suffered a rain delay (how is that even possible?). He’s been dominant at times, but he’s still showing the blow-up traits he displayed in the minors. That was seen in his Wednesday effort, as he allowed seven runs, including three homers, over 3.1 innings. A tantalizing talent.
Miles Mikolas is finally slowing down. Over his last three outings, he’s allowed 10 runs over 16.1 innings leading to a 5.51 ERA. He’s only walked one batter, but he’s also been beaten hard for 32 hits.
Brandon Morrow may not pitch again for the Cubs in the regular season. That means a muscle strain in his biceps threatens to cost him more than two months. Really? I’ve always loved the skills, and it’s hard to put a negative on a season that includes 22 saves, a 1.47 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP, but he’s thrown a total of 30.2 innings. That means the last time he will have tossed 45-innings in a big-league season will be 2013. That’s five consecutive seasons under 45 frames. You simply cannot trust him to be on the bump, skills or no skills.
Max Muncy has hit just .219 with a .308 OBP in the second half. Still has a strong .553 SLG though.
Jose Peraza is batting .284 with 74 runs and 20 steals. That’s a success.
Jameson Taillon has now gone 18-straight outings allowing three or fewer earned runs, as he allowed one in five innings Wednesday to improve his record to 12-9 and lowered his ERA to 3.40.
Luis Severino has a 6.95 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star Break. He’s really struggling of late, and that ERA is up to 3.52 as he’s failed to throw six innings 4-of-5 outings. Some of the blame goes to Gary Sanchez, who can’t seem to get out of his own way defensively when Severino is on the hill.
Amed Rosario had two hits, two runs and an RBI last night. The guy is hitting really well of late. His last 19 games he’s stolen five bases, hit .360 and scored 17 runs. It’s finally happening for the youngster of the Mets.
Chris Shaw has struck out in 10 of 15 plate appearances for the Giants. As warned, his contactability is severely lacking.
Drew Steckenrider has two saves his last two outings, that after giving up a run in 4-straight outings. He’s the closer with the Marlins, but it’s likely to be an uneven September for a guy who just seems to lose his feel for the strike zone at times.
Trevor Story is going to, rightly, get some NL MVP consideration. He blasted three more homers last night, one the longest ever recorded by Statcast at 505 feet, to push his season-long line up to .298-31-95-77-25. He’s had a remarkable bounce-back season.
Zack Wheeler allowed three runs Wednesday night. That was the first time in nine games that he allowed three runs. Yeah, that’s right. He took a line drive off his chest in the outing, but it is said that he will be good to go for his next start against the Marlins.
You can hear Ray, Monday through Friday, on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Ray is on The Fantasy Drive 8-10 PM EST Monday-Friday, and he’s also on the Guru Elite Show Thursday from 2-4 PM EST. You can follow Ray on Twitter at @baseballguys.