Jose Leclerc – Extension
In what some could say the steal of the offseason, the Rangers have extended closer Jose Leclerc to a four year deal. The four year pact will only be worth $14.75MM, and the Rangers have two option years of $6MM in 2023 and $6.25MM in 2024. This contract is the definition of “team friendly.” Leclerc had a breakout season in 2018 having a minuscule 1.56 ERA (1.9 FIP) over 57.2 IP. If he can keep that up, it could be the deal of the century: Kimbrel (who had almost double the ERA in 2018, but has the history) is reportedly asking for more than that per year, but admittedly has the history behind him.
Steven Wright – Suspended for PEDs
Red Sox knuckleballer has been suspended 80 games, without pay, for testing positive for a growth hormone (GHRP-2). While in his press conference today, he bluntly told the media that he did not knowingly take it; once he heard of the failed test, he appealed it. He then went on to say that he does not have any evidence that he did not take it. Wright had be rehabbing from a knee surgery that limited him to only 53 innings in 2018. Wright has had some great numbers while in Boston. In 2016, Wright had a 3.33 ERA as a starter and some where talking about him starting the All-Star game.
Bryce Harper – Potential Tampering
[Bryce Harper just launched his tenure as the Phillies’ biggest star, but he’s already considering how to use his gravitational pull to the team’s advantage. In an interview yesterday with Philadelphia SportsRadio 94WIP, Harper made clear he intends to help the Phils land another big fish in free agency:
“If you don’t think I’m gonna call Mike Trout to come to Philly in 2020, you’re crazy.”
That comment was sufficient to spur the Angels to raise the matter with Major League Baseball, Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times reports. The league has been in touch with both teams and is looking into the matter, per ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan (Twitter link). Unsurprisingly, “significant discipline” is not anticipated.] – Jeff Todd, MLBTR
CC Sabathia – Not Ready
Yankee manager Aaron Boone told the media today that CC Sabathia will not be ready for the start of the season. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com had this quote:
“He had his second ’pen that went well [on Wednesday],” Boone said of Sabathia, who got a late start to Spring Training following offseason knee surgery and an angioplasty. “I certainly don’t expect him for the start of the season. It may be a couple of weeks in, if everything keeps going according to plan.”
Stat of the Day – Game Score
[Game Score measures a pitcher’s performance in any given game started. Introduced by Bill James in the 1980s and updated by fellow sabermetrician Tom Tango in 2014, Game Score is presented as a figure between 0-100 — except for extreme outliers — and usually falls between 40-70.
A Game Score of 50 is considered “average,” while a Game Score of 40 is deemed to be “replacement level.” Game Scores in the 80s and 90s are widely regarded as impressive, and scores of at least 100 are exceptionally rare. Using Tango’s formula, which is the version displayed on MLB.com, only nine of the 4,858 games started in 2015 resulted in Game Scores of 100-plus.
A Game Score is derived by factoring the quality (based on runs, hits, HR, walks, strikeouts) and quantity (innings) of a starting pitcher’s performance] – MLB.com
TLDR: Game score is a great way to have a quick glance at a starter’s performance to see how well he did. Using it: 40 is not great, 70 is a great start.
Stat of the Day curtesy of MLB.com
Header Photo Curtesy of Sportsnet