Yonny Chirinos Is Closing In On Being Awesome

Early season baseball is beautiful. It’s not that just that baseball is back. It’s that things get so weird so quickly. Take, for example, Mike Petriello pondering this: Lol, y’all. For the record, Owings is at .478 going into his game on Friday and Sanchez has worked his way to .088. So, yeah, just a few days later and things are still weird. But some things…some things that seem weird may not be weird. Yonny Chirinos might be one of those things. Chirinos has been on the fringe of interesting for some time. Last July, Carson Cistulli wrote about him…

Cesar Hernandez Swings Less, Hits More

Getting talked up as a second baseman can be hard. Jose Altuve, Brian Dozier, Daniel Murphy, and Jonathan Schoop occupy a lot of that conversation. Other, older guys like Robinson Cano and Ian Kinsler are still kicking around. Whit Merrifield says hello from Nowhere, too. And then there’s Cesar Hernandez, who seems to get talked up most for how underrated he is. He’s one of only two holdovers on the Phillies since he came up in 2013 — the other is Luis Garcia — so even after this offseason of the team shedding some of that sluggish rebuild weight and…

Power Relievers and a Third Pitch?

As spring hopes eternal so, too, do the annual Spring Training stories. Guys are in the best shape of their lives or feeling better than they have in years. Or futzing with new pitches. In fact, so many guys try new pitches that Jason Colette keeps an annual, running list of pitchers who are attempting to add to their arsenal.  Edwin Diaz is among those attempting to do that this year by adding a changeup to his very fast fastball and exceptionally mean slider. Mariners General Manager Jerry DiPoto says that so far the changeup is “pretty firm.” He also…

Maybe the Brewers Are Stepping Up Because of Zach Davies?

Not entirely, no. Before acquiring Christian Yelich and signing Lorenzo Cain, the Brewers still had a host of other talent scattered throughout their lineup that made them interesting, if not necessarily intimidating. But Davies occupies a particular space that their more established players have surpassed and that their other younger players have yet to enter. He’s going into his third full season and has provided nearly six wins for the team, and his approach could make you believe he could keep doing that in the middle of the rotation. He’ll play 2018 at just 25 years old. Travis Sawchik detailed…

Following Up On Jimmy Nelson

The All-Star Break brings a chance to reflect on what’s happened so far this season. For me, that means going back to examine a series of offseason pieces on various players. It’s fun to see what I might have been right or wrong about. One such piece was about the struggles of Jimmy Nelson in 2016. In short, there were too many walks, not enough strikeouts, and too much disappointment. Specifically, I said that if Nelson “was your probable starter it was probable you’d sigh.” But I also cited Nelson’s propensity to adjust through his career and made two suggestions…

One Way Jose Quintana Could Be Even Better

Jose Quintana is a neat pitcher. He’s not a dominant ace in the traditional sense. As Dave Cameron describes it, he’s much more steadily excellent than dynamically charged. He’s so steady, in fact, that you could pick any season from the last four years and probably not tell what year it was. While that’s impressive in its own right, something from his 2016 might say he could still take it up a notch. Last year, for the first time ever, Quintana generated more than 16.7% soft contact. That correlates with a big jump in hitters making contact on pitches out…