Welcome back, baseball fans! The Wind Up is back from its hiatus and ready to reveal some lessons we’ve learned this week. One such lesson in particular stings, but early on there’s been plenty to smile upon. First, the bitterness:
Do Not Bench Yoenis CA�spedes. Ever
Look, making rash decisions after one week of baseball is asinine. It’s beyond stupid. It arguably should be punishable by law. No, really. And here I am, ready to volunteer as tribute. Because guess what? That’s right, I benched Yoenis CA�spedes. Oh yeah, you’re about to hear about my fantasy baseball team for a second. So either skip to the next bit or prepare for a brief, yet entertaining recap of my week.
- Nomar Mazara, who is on my bench, is named AL Player of the Week.
- Mookie Betts, Carlos GonzA?lez, Kyle Schwarber, Joc Pederson and CA�spedes all struggle.
- I choose poorly.
- CA�spedes hits five home runs in three games.
- I am an idiot.
Alright, now that you’ve sat through that and probably care less about it than you even thought you would, we’re moving on. Well, kind of. We’re still going to discuss CA�spedes’ hot start for a little while. Since the Mets acquired him at the 2015 trade deadline, the Cuban outfielder has been a man on fire. He’s holding a steady .281/.355/.645/1.000 slash linea��though those last two numbers benefit greatly from an extremely small 2017 sample. And, he’s slugged 54 home runs in his roughly year-and-a-half with the Mets. 17 of those came in 57 games back in ’15. Now he’s got six more in just 10 games this year. That type of pace, of course, is unsustainable.
But one thing starts becoming clearer every time CA�spedes steps up to the plate: the Mets need him. They made the right decision in keeping him around. Now the only question that remains is: How much longer can he keep this up?
Madison Bumgarner Can’t Do Everything
It’s not an even year, so obviously that means we don’t have to worry about the San Francisco Giants. That’s just how it works; it’s science. That said, perhaps they should start helping their ace out from time to time. You know, if they want to.
Thus far, Madison Bumgarner has logged 21 innings in 2017. He’s striking out 10.3 batters per nine, which would be a career-high if the mark held. He’s walking 1.3 per nine, which would also be a career-best mark if it held. And, he’s pitched well enough for a 3.43 ERA (2.47 FIP) while seeing a four percent uptick in his groundball rate. Of those three starts, Bumgarner has also logged a complete game. Yet, that’s only been good enough for an 0-2 record. More importantly, the Giants have given him just seven runs of supporta��or, 2.3 per game.
Bumgarner is responsible for two of those himself. What gives?
Look, we’ve already been over this. It’s early; it’s silly to make such rash proclamations at this time. So we’re not going to do that. Instead, we’ll just say this: Bumgarner has two options on his contract that could keep him in San Francisco through 2019, his age-29 season. He has three rings already; does he have to stay in the Bay Area after that?
Of course not. Get it together, Giants. (Or don’t. Whatever).
Some Early Feel-Good Stories
- Up until the Milwaukee Brewers beat them Thursday night, the Cincinnati Reds had the best record in baseball. (No, really).
- Speaking of the Brewers: Through two starts, Chase Anderson has the nicest ERA (0.69) of his rotation.
- Greg Holland, back healthy and with the Rockies, leads the league in saves (6).
- Staying with the Rockies: Mark Reynolds is slashing .306/.375/.722 with four home runs. (He was only signed to a minor-league deal because of an injury).
- If you’re upset that Yasiel Puig is off to a hot start, good. I’ll gladly drink the tears.
- Salvador PA�rez has the pop, but if he could get on base more than 30 percent of the time…
- Jason Vargas gets credit for two of three Royals’ wins. Good for him! (Awful for them).
- As of Friday morning, Avisail Garcia leads the league in batting average (.452). Can we just call the race now?
Come back next week, when there will be minimal-to-no fantasy baseball talk. We promise.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball Prospectus and Baseball Reference, and are accurate as of Friday morning.