Getaway Day – Are They For Real? (Small Sample Size Theater)

Three weeks into the Major League Baseball season and we’ve seen a little bit of everything. Bat flips, anger at said bat flips, position players pitching and Puig continuing to be our friend. Some players have gotten off to hot starts and some have uncharacteristically appeared lost. But baseball is a long, long (LONG, LONG) season and the first few weeks aren’t indicative of the future.

And yet, that doesn’t mean we can still speculate. It’s what we do.

So who are we buying and selling in 2019? (BTW: I don’t mean that in a fantasy baseball way. I mean that in a “watch the game without stakes* way).

Andrew McCutchen

I’m shocked at how quickly Cutch when from a mainstay of the Pittsburgh Pirates to a journeyman outfielder clubs bring in for a “veteran presence.” This game doesn’t love you. However, Cutch is only 32-years-old and has at least two seasons of decent production left.

After 16 games, Cutch’s slash line is .283/.434/.550 with three home runs. That slugging percentage would be his highest since he finished third in MVP voting in 2014. Not counting the 25 regular season games he played for the Yankees (he played for the Yankees?), his on-base percentage would be his highest... ever.

Fangraphs projects Cutch to finish with a .263/.361/.475 slash line and 26 home runs. Factoring in playing half of his games at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park and being surrounded by a talented lineup, Cutch’s consistency makes him reliable.

(BTW: Did you know Cutch played for the Yankees last year? Seriously, he did. It happened.)

Yu Darvish

Is it me or did everything go to crap the minute rumors of tipping his pitchers broke during the 2017 World Series? He started two games against the Houston Astros and pitched a TOTAL of 3.1 innings with an era of 21.60. But the Cubs saw something in him and signed him anyway thinking he’d turn it around.

Nope.

Darvish didn’t show much during an injury-shortened 2018. In eight starts, he had a 4.95 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Things one could easily recover from given his track record. But in four starts this season, Darvish’s ERA stands at 6.11 with a 6.93 FIP a 1.76 WHIP and 15 walks in 17.2 innings pitched.

The Cubs are off to a rocky start, but he land will become more treacherous if Darvish doesn’t straighten up and fly right.

Justin Turner

Fangraphs projects Justin Turner finishing with 2019 with a .286/.370/.473 slash line with 20 home runs. After 14 games, Turner’s current slash line sits at .302/.387/.333. He hasn’t hit a home run yet, but after a shortened 2018, I don’t think the Dodgers should expect what they’re used to in the power department.

He’s in his age-34 season and recently missed games due to hamstring tightness and an ankle injury. With his age and his injuries going back to last season, I think the power takes a hit while the slash line continues to dip. If I’m wrong, there are no consequences. Yay, me.

Jeurys Familia

Familia’s was good to great for the New York Mets from 2014 to 2018. He was good for the Oakland Athletics for the second half of last season. So what the hell is happening now?

The Mets’ setup man’s in his age-29 season and showed no signs of this performance coming off of last year and this past spring training. A WHIP of 2.160, an ERA+ of 66, a home run to fly ball ratio of 28.6 percent and 9.72 walks per nine innings isn’t optimal. Although Mets fans have pegged Familia to be this generation’s Armando Benitez (note: Benitez was the best pitcher on the 1999 Mets and it’s not even close), he’s been reliable, dependable and lights out in certain appearances.

With his career 2.82 ERA and 1.233 career WHIP, Familia should return back to normal soon. However, he needs to make it quick because the Mets have one of the worst team ERAs in the league. You can’t rely on Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard every day.

Mike Trout

* laughs* What the hell do you think?

Notes:

  • I agree with David Price’s belief that no teams should have an off day on Jackie Robinson Day.
  • Speaking of Jackie Robinson Day, this was a whole lot of not good.
  • Loving the Robinson tributes from Robinson Cano and Tim Anderson.
  • Oh and Tim, pimp hard. Pimp harder.
  • Mets manager Mickey Callaway taking the 1993 approach to closing and not bringing in Edwin Diaz Tuesday night is infuriating. It almost cost them a game against the Phillies. Bases loaded and nobody out is the very definition of a “high leverage” situation.
  • Once more on those Metropolitans, have they passed that injury bug on to their crosstown rivals?
  • Hey, Boston Red Sox? Have a message for you regarding the start to this season.

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