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Reading this Deadspin post about the rise of big-homer, big-strikeout, low batting average players in recent years made us simply curious about just how many more strikeouts there are these days vs. the recent past.
As it turns out: a lot more.
The average MLB team is on pace to strike out 1,251 times this season. In 2005, the average for a season was 1,021. Only one team in 2005 (the Reds at 1,303) struck out as much as the average team strikes out this year. Here’s the full list by year, with the number creeping up every season since 2005:
Josh Willingham and Kevin Correia have been big league regulars for nearly a decade apiece. Neither has ever participated in the postseason, and until a few days ago it looked like neither would sniff the playoffs this year with the Twins.
But suddenly via trades — Willingham to the suddenly hot Royals and Correia to the Dodgers — both have the postseason in their sights.
The Royals have won eight in a row and moved past the slumping Tigers into first place in the AL Central on Monday. Correia made his Dodgers debut on the same night, pitching six innings of one-run ball to get the win.
It must be a completely difference scene from what either player has experienced in his career-to-date. Correia pitched for some bad Giants, Padres, Pirates and, yes, Twins teams. Willingham was with the Marlins, Washington, Oakland (they were 74-88 in his one season) and since 2012 with the Twins.
Usually this is the time of year both can settle in and play out the string. Instead, they both will find themselves in the heat of pennant races.
Two pitchers who have started games for the Twins in August — including one who pitched just two days ago — combined on a no-hitter for Class AAA Rochester on Monday.
What’s that, now?
Yes, Logan Darnell and Trevor May had a combined no-hitter for the Red Wings.
Sure, but what are you talking about?
Ah, here’s the fun part: It was the completion of a game suspended by rain July 24. May started the game and pitched three hitless innings. Darnell actually pitched two days later for the Twins, and again on Aug. 1, but he was since sent down.
The game resumed today, and Darnell threw the next six innings of hitless relief.
Turns out Tommy Milone, who is slated to start tonight in Houston, will be the 27th different starting pitcher used by the Twins from 2011-14.
Sounds like a random big number you would throw out if you were trying to be mean. But it’s the real number.
Here are the other 26 aside from Milone, in order of the number of starts they have made. Honestly, we had forgotten at least a few of these guys:
Scott Diamond 58
Kevin Correia 54
Nick Blackburn 45
Carl Pavano 44
Francisco Liriano 41
Samuel Deduno 41
Brian Duensing 39
Mike Pelfrey 34
Kyle Gibson 32
Liam Hendriks 28
Phil Hughes 24
Scott Baker 21
P.J. Walters 20
Cole De Vries 18
Ricky Nolasco 18
Anthony Swarzak 17
Pedro Hernandez 12
Andrew Albers 10
Vance Worley 10
Yohan Pino 9
Kevin Slowey 8
Jason Marquis 7
Esmerling Vasquez 6
Kris Johnson 3
Logan Darnell 2
Trevor May 1
Joe Mauer is slated to come off the disabled list in time for tonight’s game against the Astros. It sounds as though either Trevor Plouffe or Oswaldo Arcia could go on the DL to make room, which is a nice relief because it means the Twins are going to fiddle with big Kennys Vargas (not that they would, anyway, since he’s been batting in the middle of their order and doing just fine).
We don’t know what this will mean for the lineup as a whole, but we do know this: the Twins have 46 games left in this season, and they are an important 46 games for Mauer. For all the jokes about Mauer’s durability and not playing in day games after night games, he appeared in at least 130 games in five of six seasons between 2005-2010. Since then, he’s done it only once — in a quite good 2012 season. Otherwise, it was 82 games in 2011, 113 last season and 76 so far this year.
Saying “Mauer needs to stay healthy” is a little too simple because nobody *tries* to get injured. But considering the Twins still owe Mauer $92 million from 2015-2018 — half of his eight-year contract — it is important to see a healthy, productive Mauer as the Twins play out the stretch run.
He’s still the team’s most accomplished hitter, by far. At 31, he might be at the start of a decline. How sharp that decline is, though, will of course determine just how much value the Twins will get for that large chunk of payroll — and be a significant factor if and when the Twins’ top prospects arrive en masse and potentially help engineer a real turnaround.
A productive Mauer always figured to be part of the plan for the team to contend in 2015/16 and beyond. Even if Mauer could return to 2013 levels for the rest of 2014 (.880 OPS), it would be a good sign. He was showing flashes of that before this last oblique injury; a consistent stretch of it would be a very welcome, and perhaps critically important, sight for the Twins as they prepare for the future.
|NY Mets||4||Bottom 5th Inning|
|Philadelphia||2||Top 7th Inning|
|Boston||2||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Minnesota||3||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Pittsburgh||3||Top 3rd Inning|
|Milwaukee||0||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|Detroit - D. Price||3:05 PM|
|Cleveland - C. Kluber|
|Seattle - C. Young||3:05 PM|
|Oakland - J. Hammel|
|Arizona - T. Cahill||3:10 PM|
|San Diego - T. Ross|
|San Francisco - T. Hudson||4:40 PM|
|Colorado - F. Morales|
|Washington - G. Gonzalez||7:10 PM|
|Los Angeles - R. Hernandez|
|Texas - C. Lewis||7:10 PM|
|Kansas City - Y. Ventura|
|Green Bay||9/4/14 7:30 PM|
|Buffalo||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|New Orleans||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Minnesota||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Jacksonville||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Oakland||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Cincinnati||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Washington||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Tennessee||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|New England||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Carolina||9/7/14 3:25 PM|
|San Francisco||9/7/14 3:25 PM|
|Indianapolis||9/7/14 7:30 PM|
|Arizona||9/4/14 7:00 PM|
|Pittsburgh||9/5/14 6:00 PM|
|Washington St||9/5/14 9:30 PM|
|SMU||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Fla Atlantic||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Buffalo||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(24) Missouri||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Arkansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(7) McNeese State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Central Mich||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Akron||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ill||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(20) Kansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(4) Oklahoma||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ky||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|SC State||9/6/14 11:30 AM|
|Navy||9/6/14 12:00 PM|
|UAB||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|South Alabama||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|New Mexico St||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|Colorado||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|Fresno State||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(2) Eastern Wash||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(15) USC||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ohio U||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Northern Ill||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Missouri State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ball State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Maryland||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Eastern Mich||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|Georgia Tech||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|(18) Ole Miss||9/6/14 3:30 PM|
|Old Dominion||9/6/14 5:00 PM|
|(8) Michigan State||9/6/14 5:30 PM|
|(19) Arizona State||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|San Jose St||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|East Carolina||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(9) So Carolina|
|Duke||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Idaho||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(15) Sam Houston St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Michigan||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(17) Notre Dame|
|Lamar||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(21) Texas A&M|
|Northwestern St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|BYU||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Citadel||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|San Diego St||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(23) North Carolina|
|Virginia Tech||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(5) Ohio State|
|Memphis||9/6/14 9:00 PM|
|Colorado State||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Air Force||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Oregon State||9/6/14 9:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||9/6/14 10:00 PM|