Quick Hits: Strasburg, Pujols, Wilken

Weather permitting, Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg will make his 2011 MLB debut tonight, almost one year from the day of having Tommy John surgery performed on his elbow.  Whether or not Strasmas is cancelled, here are today's links…

  • Strasburg still needs to knock a little rust off his command, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told ESPN's Jayson Stark.  Stark takes the stance that the Nationals are not rushing Strasburg back.  Stark's colleague Keith Law has a fantastic article discussing the Tommy John procedure and recovery, with help from pitchers Jarrod Parker and Chad Durbin.  For a look at what Strasburg did during his down time and how he's changed in the last year, check out Dave Sheinin's article from the Washington Post.
  • SI's Jon Heyman hears that the Cardinals are "not completely confident" Albert Pujols will remain in St. Louis, which is one reason they didn't trade Lance Berkman (Twitter link).
  • The Chicago Sun-Times talked to Tim Wilken, the Cubs' director of amateur and professional scouting, about the possibility of an extension in the wake of Oneri Fleita's four-year deal.  Such a move would quickly sour many Cubs GM candidates, hears Yahoo's Jeff Passan (Twitter link).  Wilken recently told Baseball America's Phil Rogers that it's been 20 years since he's had the kind of ownership commitment toward draft and international free agent spending that he had in 2011.
  • NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman explains why he's predicted against Yu Darvish being posted in past years, but also outlines why he can see the righty being posted this winter.
  • Tigers righty Doug Fister has "basically turned himself into the modern version of Brad Radke," writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs.  Does he represent the best acquisition by a contender this summer?  Hunter Pence belongs in that discussion as well.

31 Responses to Quick Hits: Strasburg, Pujols, Wilken Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Eh, I’d still say Fister was the best acquisition. Without Pence I’d still argue the Phillies had the best shot at the making the series if they can avoid surprises. But without Fister the Tigers basically have everything riding on Verlander. With Fister on the other hand they could potentially be a tough challenge in the playoffs.

    • Dylan 4 years ago

      Since the Pence acquisition Phillies have one of the best offensive teams in baseball…he adds so much more to that team than just his stats. I think he has more impact, playing everyday with great defense, speed, power, and energy…not taking anything away from Fister because he has been stellar all year.

      • Matt Moore 4 years ago

        Without Pence the Phillies still have one of the best 1-2-3 punches ever. Without Fister Brad Penny might have actually got a postseason start…

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

          Kinda what I was getting at. Sure, the Phils are more well rounded now but in the playoffs the mantra is usually “pitching wins.” With Halladay/Lee/Hamels the Phils already had a team that can be 3 games up in a 7 game series pretty quickly. The Tigers on the other hand had Verlander and a bunch of question marks. Despite Fister’s lack of playoff experience the Tigers look a lot better in the ALDS and potentially the ALCS.

          • and they have oswalt and werley…that should be against the law

    • problem with fister is which one is gonna show up? he is good and bad and and leyland can’t rely on him too much in the playoffs

  2. rbeezy 4 years ago

    I was amazed the depth Fister had on his curve. That in the fact he can throw it anywhere he wants with a wicked 2 seamer makes him a tough pitcher to hit. If Scherzer and Porcello would ever bust out and be consistent they would have a strong rotation for a long time.

  3. I wish people would stop calling Strasburg a phenom.  He did reasonably well when he pitched but he is far from a phenom.  He should have to earn that designation in the big leagues.  If he can be dominating after coming back from his surgery, then he absolutely should wear the moniker of “phenom.”

    • Fifty_Five 4 years ago

      Phenoms aren’t proven. They’re just people gifted with phenomenal ability. He deserves to be called a phenom because he’s a young kid with a phenomenal repertoire. No ones saying he’s a proven ace or anything.

    • JacksTigers 4 years ago

      phe·nomfinɒm, fɪˈnɒm/ Show Spelled[fee-nom, fi-nom] noun Slang .
      a phenomenon, especially a young prodigy: a twelve-year-old tennis phenom.Thank you dictionary. com for helping me prove a point. 

    • Most teams would kill to have pitchers who pitch “reasonably well” to the tune of a 139 ERA+.

    • crashcameron 4 years ago

      i hope “jaysal” doesn’t mean yer a Canadian (as in blue jays). just in case, have to reassure y’all, our MLB friends to the south, that we do indeed have an education system up here. (or used to)
      BTW, feel free to call Brett Lawrie a phenom all you want

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      The phenom every Strasburg fan should be praising is Dr. Frank Jobe.

    • dude, he is everything they have advertised…..i remember a 14 so debut….what about the newest “phenom” tehran? oh yeah thats right not so good…point proven

  4. Yeah Javier Jaysal has no idea what he is talking about.

  5. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    Fister is such an awesome pitcher to watch every 5 days. When Jim Price talks about “The Art of Pitching” this is what he’s talking about. Phenomenal command of 4 pitches, changes speeds, fields his position, shuts down the running game…like Leyland says, there are plenty of guys with better stuff than Fister, but there are very few who PITCH better than him.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      it’s funny: i agree with you entirely, but most people would consider fister boring to watch for the exact same reason we find him enjoyable

  6. The_BiRDS 4 years ago

    Dont resign Pujols… Put 30 million toward starting pitching 

    My point: Philadelphia 

    Resign Carpenter
    Resign Berkman at 1st
    Sign Jose Reyes
    Sign another “ace type pitcher” for the number 2 or 3 spot
    Get a solid closer

    • gunsnascar 4 years ago

      get a clue

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Pujols will probably be in the $25M range. Reyes will probably be in the $18M-$20M range and Berkman will probably be $10M…

      • nictonjr 4 years ago

         Based on the market set by the Cards:

        #5 starter  Westbrook  $8.75 mil
        #4 starter  Lohse $10.25 mil
        #2 starter Carpenter $15 mil

        Their #1 and #3 are still on their 1st contracts. 

        Based on the market, an ‘ace type pitcher’ is well over the $16.5 mil Burnett and Lackey signed for.  CJ Wilson is the only FA SP that meets the ‘ace type pitcher’ criteria.  Would the Cards risk a 6 year $108+ mil contract on Wilson???

    • Stl_Great 4 years ago

      Who’s the man who’s on every Cardinal advertisement? Who’s the man who gets the whole crowd cheering even if he’s 0-5 with 5 strikeout’s? Albert Pujols. We lose Pujols we lose alot of money and alot of fans. Resigning Pujols is #1.

      • Won’t lose fans…. St. Louis Cardinals are wayyyyyyyyyyyyy bigger than Albert Pujols.

        • nictonjr 4 years ago

           Cards attendance is going to be 250,000+ less than last year.  Almost 480,000 less than the first year at Busch III.   Cards are bigger than Pujols.  Cards ARE losing fans…

  7. gunsnascar 4 years ago

    The cubs should tender a contract to Tim Wilken after their new GM is signed reguardless of what Jeff Passan has to say on the subject. Tim Wilken should get some sugnificant consideration for the GM’s job himself he has done a great job helping rebuild the cubs farm now if they can get a GM that wont trade that farm away every 2-3 years they will have something.

    • aaron b 4 years ago

      Wilken has been way more hype than actual production in Chicago. The system is bottom 3rd in baseball. The only regular he’s drafted is Darwin Barney(who should be a utility guy).

      Let the next GM pick a SD.

  8. gunsnascar 4 years ago

    Dont let a GM trading away his key players in the minors ( garza trade pieces for example ) determine what he has done as a scout.

  9. jb226 4 years ago

    Personally I don’t care WHAT people call Strasburg, but I can see jaysal’s point.  As you said yourself, a phenom has extraordinary talent.  Extra ordinary.  Compared to the average person, it’s obviously true but equally worthless.  All major leaguers have talent well above the ordinary.  It’s not a comparison worth making.

    Most high school baseball players won’t make a career of baseball; neither will most college students.  And for that matter, not even most people drafted will end up as more than a minor-league player.  Shouldn’t the fair comparison of whether or not his talent is extraordinary be based on playing against the highest level of competition?  The worst major leaguers were still probably their teams’ best players in high school and college.  I certainly wouldn’t call them extraordinary.

    Strasburg’s stint in the majors last year was certainly impressive, but it’s an extremely small sample size and pitchers very often do better their first season than they do in the rest of their careers (advantage of a first meeting typically goes to the pitcher).  He’ll probably end up deserving the appellation, but if somebody claims you can’t base it on twelve major-league starts I certainly wouldn’t argue with them.

  10. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    “Compared to the average person, it’s obviously true but equally
    worthless.  All major leaguers have talent well above the ordinary.
     It’s not a comparison worth making.”

    strasburg has way more talent than most major leaguers though; that’s obviously the comparison

    whether he’ll be able to make the most of all that talent and dominate against the best in the world has yet to be seen but all signs so far are that he can and will. among scouts, statheads, and big leaguers there are none that disagree he’s a top-tier talent

    one can default to the position that “most top prospects fail”, but that’s pretty sloppy. strasburg is an even higher caliber talent than most top prospects. it would be very surprising to see him fail to achieve great things

    i remember curt schilling remarking last year (before strasburg had debuted) that the kid would be among the best pitchers in baseball the minute he made it on a roster. i thought it was a pretty serious overstatement at the time, but then i saw him pitch. strasburg isn’t just tools; he’s polished. he was plus command of plus-plus stuff. a phenom indeed

  11. crashcameron 4 years ago

    wow. long way to explain something that doesn’t really need it. it’s just a loose term.
    “phenoms” can quickly become “flame-outs”

  12. and somebody said he was a once in a 50 year talent….that has to mean something

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