Porcello’s at 26% strikeouts this May. His May has concluded, presumably. In no other month has he struck out more than 18% of opposing batters. In only five other months has he struck out at least 16% of opposing batters. What we can’t rule out, statistically, is that this is just a fluke. It’s possible. Error bars and everything. But Porcello’s May featured 123 batters. Strikeout rate is a stable stat. This is just asking to be investigated. Rick Porcello’s numbers are different. So, is Rick Porcello different?
After a stretch dating back to late 2006 of having several trades turn out poorly — Edgar Renteria, we’re looking at you — and having extensions to pitchers turn out horribly — Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis, take your bows — the confidence from the front office to keep trading and keep signing costly extensions seems to be paying off.
This isn’t remarkable. Miguel Cabrera did play a part in 31 double plays last season at third base, and 11 this year at the position. In fact, the ball was hit directly at him and all he had to do was step on the bag and throw to first.
The current designated hitter rule is not the only way to unify the two leagues. I’m going to present two options which have been proposed by others in the past, although not discussed on a broad scale (at least not recently). Why not just remove the pitcher from the batting order and let the other eight players bat? The first time I heard this idea was back in the the 1970s from Leonard Koppett, a man before his time and one of the first analytical sportswriters in the mainstream. If offense is what fans want, this idea might provide even more of it than replacing the pitcher with a designated hitter. After all, the best hitters would be coming up more often. Think about Miguel Cabrera coming up the plate another 80 to 90 times per year.
It seems the Pirates picked up Jason Grilli because they were particularly desperate, and because Clint Hurdle liked him. There are dozens of situations like this every season, and almost none of them work out this well.
Is there any way to explain Grilli’s metamorphosis, though? Yes, he’s healthy now. And for many different stretches of his career, he was not
Granderson missed the first six weeks of the season with a broken forearm and played just eight games before heading back to the disabled list.