You guys know the drill by now. Here’s 10 (somewhat) random thoughts at the close of Week 2 of MLB action. Follow @MWAbell on Twitter to find out more about these random firings and musings.
1) Kyle Hendricks had 48% of his pitches last season on the edges of the strike zone, that led MLB.
2) The Indians pitching staff is off to a great start this season. Last season, the three teams with the most games allowing three runs or less were: LA Dodgers, Houston Astros and the Cleveland Indians. The latter two have had decent hits to their pitching staffs between Gerrit Cole (NYY), Justin Verlander (IL) and Corey Kluber (Tex).
3) Tyler Stephenson got his first taste of the big leagues (in fact his first taste of anything above Double-A) and promptly hit a homer on his first at-bat.
4) I imagine what exactly occurred with the Marlins will eventually unfold, but as of now rumors of nights out at clubs coupled with a team vote as to whether they should play shows a number of gaps in the process of starting baseball back up again.
5) Thanks to Sarah Langs with MLB for this one: these pitchers have struck out both Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Jr.: David Price, CC Sabathia, Zack Greinke and Max Scherzer. I often forget the Zack Greinke is almost 37 and has been pitching in MLB for 17 years now. He has maintained a sub-4.00 ERA in eight of his last nine seasons.
6) MLB shifts by season (thanks to ESPN for this one):
7) J.D. Martinez leads all batters in homers since 2017 with 124. (Nelson Cruz, Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado and Khris Davis are the next four). Going beyond that 124 home runs and looking at all 231 home runs that Martinez has hit since 2011—he has never had a walk-off homer. He’s had 65 to go ahead and 17 to tie, but not a single walk-off home run.
8) Teoscar Hernandez is 20% owned on Yahoo (up from 0% last week). He currently owns a 68.8% hard hit rate among the 11 hits that he has had (balls hit over 95+ MPH). His fly ball rate is in line with career averages, but his hard hit is up almost 50% over the previous year.
9) Asher Wojciechowski (Yahoo 1% owned) faced a loaded Yankees roster the other night and ended up with an interesting stat line: 5 IP, 7.20 ERA, 12.60 K/9, HR/FB 37.5%. Homers were three of the four hits he allowed. He struck out seven and walked just two. He’s 31 years old and has no MLB season with a sub-4.50 ERA, but I will be watching his next two starts closely to see if there is something there.His four-seamer was what got hit hard, but his curveball and slider were lights out.
10) The Reds lost their series against the Chicago Cubs two games to one recently. This series included a Reds comeback from 7-0 deficit in the sixth inning when the Reds ultimately lost by just one run. I highlight this as the Cubs lead MLB with 38 runs scored (26 of those were scored recently against Reds pitching) but in second place right on their tails are the Reds, who have scored 37 runs (tied with Tampa Bay through Wednesday, 7/29).