Well, Stephen Strasburg sure can pitch.
He passed his first test with flying colors. Calcaterra comments on what’s in a debut. However, his performance is comparable to the debuts of some guys whose company he may otherwise wish to avoid. ‘Zounds! Those lists give me the willies. Hopefully we won’t see him lumped in with those names in the future (unless you just really hate the Nationals, which I can’t imagine: they’ve been so mediocre as to be completely inoffensive).
Apparently, Strasburgs 14 strikeouts in 94 pitches (sorry, I reported he threw 95 in a previous post) represents the lowest number of pitches used to strike out 14 batters since they began doing that counting. Wow.
Heck, Strasburg has turned a bunch of heads in the Big League ranks: Joe Girardi was asking reporters questions about the performance. The Twins were apparently purchasing signed Strasburg jerseys. Bob Feller was a wet blanket, a mode of behavior he seems stuck in. (I’m glad Feller was such a stud in ’36, but after reading his comments about Jackie Robinson as well as about some other more modern baseball-related issues, I’m pretty much sick of the guy. Go back to Van Meter, Bob, or at least let that nasty wound under your nose heal up for good.)
Strasburg, however, wasn’t the only rookie doing cool Major League things for his team Tuesday night.
Mike Stanton, another super-stud prospect, played for the Marlins Tuesday night. He had three hits against the Phillies. Unfortunately, as a right fielder he didn’t pitch in relief as the Marlins’ bullpen gave up the lead late and Florida dropped the ballgame. Tyler Tankersley, who did pitch in relief for the Marlins, “contributed” a WPA of -.505, -.500 of that coming on Ben Francisco’s 8th inning single which scored both Placido Polanco and Chase Utley and put the Phillies in front for good.
Mets’ rookie first baseman Ike Davis hit an absolute BOMB to end the Mets’ game with the Padres in spectacular fashion as he accumulated .367 WPA on the shot, which traveled 444 feet, according to Hit Tracker Online.
The Pirates, victimized by Strasburg’s debut Tuesday night, attempted some fair play turnabout by summoning two prospects, outfielder Jose Tabata and pitcher Brad Lincoln, from AAA to play on Wednesday night. Well, things didn’t work out as well for the Pirates on Wednesday as they had for the Nationals on Tuesday, with Washington winning 7-5 and kind of abusing Lincoln, who was roughed up for seven earned runs in six innings pitched, surrendering seven hits and two walks. Adam Dunn mashed a two-run bomb in Lincoln’s first inning.
For his part, Tabata went 2 for 4 and drew a walk. For the Pirates, his promotion improves their outfield defense, as they are able to move Jones to first, while Tabata plays left and Milledge moves to right.
With all these stud prospects getting promoted, and with Buster Posey coming up last week for the Giants, I just have one question: Where the heck is Carlos Santana? No, not the guitar guy, the other one, the Indians’ catcher of the future, one of the pieces they acquired from the
Red Sox in the Victor Martinez deal (another of those pieces, Justin Masterson pitched a two-hit shutout against the Sox today in the Indians’ 11-0 whitewashing of Boston.) Dodgers in the Casey Blake deal. Santana has been insane at AAA: .307/.440/.568 and a wOBA of .433 and 6 (six) stolen bases [!].
Jeez, free Carlos Santana.
I used to think Mark Shapiro was bright–thanks to Terry Pluto–but this is making me reconsider. I get that they’re traumatized by Grady Sizemore in two ways–(1) his season-ending injury and/or (b) his 2010 performance–but come on guys! Get Carlos in the Show post-haste!
Even if Santana’s wOBA declines by .100 points he still wouldn’t be much worse than the guys playing catcher for the Indians right now, and he’d be picking up valuable Major League experience. I think he’d actually hit better than that. And he’d be getting even better for next season, when even the Indians have a reason to think that their prospects might improve.