Life in the bay area can be a colorful sight. I’m riding home from work yesterday and the highway is bumper to bumper – more packed than usual – the rears of vehicles adorned with various shapes of rainbow paraphernalia. It’s International Pride Week and, as the nation’s capital of gay pride, “The City by the Bay” attracts an exceptional number of supporters of chromosome prejudice. It’s also home to the some of the most outstanding pitchers and catchers, both on the field and off. This isn’t a blog about sexscapades, unless Tehol is writing, and, as such, here’s an ode to pitchers and catchers—on the field.
Please accept my apology for the following attempt at humor and liberal use of things that an adult audience should find acceptable. I have my misgivings, but on this momentous weekend, here’s to tying it all together!
Alex Wood was sent down to improve his stamina so he could go deeper each time he’s up. Apparently, he was able to get it up quickly (his pitch count). He’s already back up and starting and his first appearance was just a gem. He went 7 innings allowing 4 total baserunners, zero runs and struck out 4 using only 79 pitches—showcasing his ability to pound the zone. He’s only going to be able to get bigger with his pitch count. Don’t expect gems like this every week, but he’s a prototype Braves prospect pitcher who should be very solid and, provided, someone gave up on him as a reliever, he could very well be on your waiver wire and garner you some points. Great pickup ROS if you can reach around and grab him.
As many side effects do, Mike Leake started the day after Wood pounded the zone. In this case, there was very little correlation. However, Leake is on when pounding the back door with cutters and sliders against LHB and he did that repeatedly to setup a masterful dominance of lefties, righties and even switch hitters. He K’d 12 Giants en route to a line of 8 IP, 5 baserunners, with 1 earned. He’s a pitcher who is not conducive to his home ballpark which is supported by his ERA being over a full point better on the road. If you can absorb the Leake-age at home, start this guy on the road when he sees a friendly park or lineup.
Look, catching is not the most enviable position to be in as a ball player. You have to hope you give out the right signs for success, hope that your pitcher hits his target, receive all night and get hit with bats and balls all over your body. You really take a beating. And then to realize you have a job acronym as a name, sweet nectar of the Gods, save me! Not BJ or DJ, not HJ, but AJ. Oh yes Pride Week, AJ Ellis is the catcher for you. Fresh off the DL, this underperforming mediocre mainstay is nary a top… option that is. However, he does have some potential value to points leaguers. If you get points for walks this is a guy who can provide sneaky value. He’s had a very rough start to the year and a very productive offense full of free swingers should lubricate his OBP into run production value as his stats normalize over a full season.
He isn’t as attractive as Magic Mike, but prospect pundits sure made Mike Zunino seem that way for the past couple years. Surprise, he’s a catcher with power and poor contact skills! But any kind of offensive performance from a receiver is a welcome thing. Unless you’re an opposing pitcher, then you’re probably claiming abstinence only. Zunino has been lauded for his power stroke in his development, and although that didn’t show at first, it seems to be starting to come around. The Mariners won’t be accused of being wonderfully offensive anytime soon, but the lineup does seem to be rounding into form with Cano hitting well above .300, Lo-Mo and Seagerth picking it up. (Thanks to BTXJ for the Seagerth reference… check his Draftkings masterpiece here)
And like that… he’s gone…
Kill me in the comments ya’ll. Bringing you back to a bit more analysis next week. This was just too fun to pass up.