AL Notes: Trout, Ventura, Peavy, Twins, Playoffs

Rookie outfielder Mike Trout hit his 30th home run in the opener of the Angels-Rangers doubleheader this afternoon to become the youngest player in MLB history to slug 30 homers and steal 30 bases and the first rookie with a season of 30 homers and 40 steals. Trout is also the first player in MLB history to record 30 home runs, 45 steals, and 125 runs scored in a single season (h/t ESPN, via Twitter). Trout swiped his 48th base in that game and is now just two stolen bases away from joining Barry Bonds and Eric Davis as the only 30/50 players in baseball history. Today's historic performance further fuels the AL MVP debate between Trout and Miguel Cabrera, a debate chronicled by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Elsewhere on the Junior Circuit:

  • White Sox manager Robin Ventura had to clarify comments he made about his future yesterday, reports's Dan Hayes. Ventura said he was only making a joke when he said he just wanted to get through this season. "I plan on being here for two more years, yes,” Ventura said. “Unless they don’t want me to be here.
  • If the White Sox opt for the $4MM buyout of Jake Peavy's contract rather than exercise the $22MM 2013 option, the right-hander may act as his own agent, reports Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times. Barry Axelrod, Peavy's longtime agent, is no longer able to represent him because Axelrod will be taking a position in the Diamondbacks' front office. For his part, Peavy says he wants to remain with the White Sox, "I love Chicago and this team. I hope we'll be able to work something out."
  • The Twins will have to work something out with pitcher Scott Baker, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. The club has a $9.25MM team option for 2013 and it seems highly unlikely they'd exercise that and make Baker the team's highest-paid pitcher coming off surgery, writes Phil Mackey. GM Terry Ryan wouldn't say much about Baker's status other than, "If you think he's going to be able to contribute in 2013, the answer is yes (we do have interest)."
  • Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has a feeling some of his coaching staff won't be back after the team's second consecutive 90-loss season, according to's Rhett Bollinger and Jordan Garretson. "I have all the faith that they can do the job, but some of these things aren't going to be left up to me, it's going to be left to ownership and [general manager] Terry [Ryan]," Gardenhire said. "If he thinks change is needed, he's going to talk to the owners and we'll go from there."
  • Within the same piece, Bollinger and Garretson confirmed Gardenhire hadn't spoken to Joe Mauer about moving to third base. Gardenhire said he has considered playing Mauer some at third when asked about the possibility during a conference call with season-ticket holders on Thursday.
  • The Blue Jays' Darren Oliver is undecided if he will continue playing in 2013, according to Shi Davidi of Oliver says the main deciding factor will be "my two kids and my wife." The Blue Jays hold a $3MM club option on the left-hander, who has posted a 1.78 ERA, 8.4 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 in 60 relief appearances this year covering nearly 56 innings. 
  • The Rays ultimately may be known more for not providing enough support to take advantage of one of the best overall pitching performances in recent times; but, there has been a lot accomplished, writes Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin who recounts the good, bad and interesting. 
  • Gordon Edes of has obtained an assessment of the Red Sox’s top 20 prospects by pro scouts for another big-league team. The young talent will be needed as Boston lost 90 games for the first time since 1966 after being swept by the Orioles today.
  • The Yankees, Rangers and Orioles each clinched a playoff spot on Sunday evening thanks to a Mike Napoli-led Texas victory over the Angels. All three teams remain in the hunt for division titles, but three more regular season games must be played this week before final seeding can be determined. For the Orioles, the return to the playoffs comes after a lengthy absence as Baltimore's last postseason appearance came in 1997.

Daniel Seco contributed to this post.

45 Responses to AL Notes: Trout, Ventura, Peavy, Twins, Playoffs Leave a Reply

  1. jordan 3 years ago

    Edes took down the prospect article. FYI

  2. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    most valuable batter= miggy

    most valuable player=trout

    • Bob George 3 years ago

      I agree, but with Detroit heading to the playoffs and Anaheim not I think it’s hard to vote for a guy who isn’t going to the post-season when they both have had great years.

      This is also similar to the argument for NL MVP last year between Braun and Kemp.

      • I don’t think it’s fair to penalize Trout because the Angels play in a stronger division. Not only do the Angels have a better record then the Tigers, unless the Angels lose out and the Tigers win out, the Tigers have only the 7th best record in the AL.

        • Paul Shailor 3 years ago

          And I think that if you took Trout off the Angels and Cabrera off the Tigers the talent disparity of those 2 teams is staggering with the Tigers on the short end.

          • HaloeD 3 years ago

            i think if you dont take them off their teams… “the talent disparity of those 2 teams is staggering with the Tigers on the short end”

          • Paul Shailor 3 years ago

            Right, so cabrera being able to elevate a team with less talent to the playoffs and only a few games inferior record should matter a lot. I mean the Angels have us beat at EVERY position but 3b, oh and our #1 is better than your number 1. Take Trout off that team they are still over .500. Take cabrera off tigers and we are below.

      • However, keep in mind that the Angels will miss the playoffs but likely have a better record than the Tigers, with the Tigers taking advantage of the White Sox collapsing. (The Angels have 88 wins, and the Tigers can top out at 89.) The W-L should clinch it for Trout.

        The big story this week will be if the Yankees have to play a play-in game, which would likely come after having to play a 163rd game to decide the division title.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      I was originally leaning towards miggy, since in 60 more AB he has 14 more hr, and 15 more doubles. But if you take into account Trout’s 47 steals while only being caught 4 times that is phenomenal. That puts him in scoring position so many more times then any other leadoff hitter.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      Simple truth is yes you’re right. The complicated truth is if Miggy wins the triple crown all bets are off.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Ted Williams.. Triple Crowns in 1942 as well as in 1947 and No MVP award. Hit .406 even in 1941 and no MVP. Winning the TC is no 100% guarantee of a MVP win as have mentioned before, especially when the player (Cabby) is a defensive liability.

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

          Flash forward 65 years later when no one has won the triple crown in 45 years and it’s a different story. As historic as Trout’s season has been the triple crown has been seen as a nearly impossible feat in this day and age. So as I said: If Miggy wins the triple crown, all bets are off.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            I see it as no different than the non awarding of the MVP to a DH writers have. Cabby is an atrocious defender.. Watched him his entire marlins career and enough tigers games to see he has gotten no better. It is exactly like having a DH play a corner IF position.

            I could see giving the award out to someone who is an even league average defensive player and preferably a good defensive one, but someone who costs his team runs on the defensive end, just because they won the TC is not MVP worthy.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      that’s the thing, though: trout has been the better hitter this year. cabrera has nothing on him

      • Tko11 3 years ago

        How has he been the better hitter? Cabrera might win the Triple Crown. Trout is a better all around player, not a better hitter. Get back to me in ten years if Trout remains as consistent as Miggy has been his entire career.

        • And here we thought the MVP was based on THIS year, not a guy’s career body of work. Get back to me when you can find one other thing besides the ability to hit home runs that Cabrera has over Trout.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            well, you can’t just totally dismiss home run hitting.. it is the most product single thing a batter can do at the plate.

            Cabrera has 43 HR and 40 doubles good for 83 extra base hits

            Where as Trout has 30 HR’s 25 doubles and 7 triples, good for 62 extra base hits. They both have the same amount of singles give or take a few.

            but if we are talking productivity at the plate, its hard to argue against cabrera.

          • Agreed. I think Cabrera has had the slightly better year at the plate (AVG and OBP are close), but when you factor in baserunning and defense at a premium position, I give the nod to Trout.

          • Tko11 3 years ago

            I was making the point that Canberra is a better hitter. One of those reasons is because he’s been doing it for so long and is having his best year.

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          what do you mean “how”? he’s got him by 10 points in wRC+

          let me guess, that is a voodoo stat so it doesn’t count. ok, use something worse, but widely accepted: OPS+

          trout 168
          cabrera 164

          trout has been better with the bat. the only argument available to you is RBI. good luck with that one

          • Let_My_Cameron_Go 3 years ago

            Trout has been better with the bat? Cabrera has the higher BA, the higher slugging, the higher OPS, higher HR, higher in doubles, higher in total bases. You can make an argument that Trout is an MVP candidate, but he is in no way shape or form a better hitter than Cabrera. It may be a moot point, but an AL West pitcher recently stated that he rather face Trout than Cabrera at the plate. Cabrera is just a ridiculous clutch hitter…

          • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

            clutch rating

            cabrera -1.39
            trout -0.58


            cabrera 4.26
            trout 5.43

            RBI aside, literally everything you bring up favors trout

          • $17867741 3 years ago

            RBI’s still remain ‘relevant’ to the voters today because it measures whether a player is clutch or not. In the modern world, better stats are available (ex. wRC+ in high leverage, BA with RISP, etc.)

            1) Consider wRC+ depending the various situations

            Trout’s wRC+
            – low leverage: 186
            – mid leverage: 168
            – high leverage: 121
            – Overall: 172

            Cabrera’s wRC+
            – low leverage: 174
            – mid leverage: 142
            – high leverage: 208
            – Overall: 163

            2) Now consider BA for the different situations
            *RISP is runners-in-scoring-position

            Trout’s BA:
            – Bases Empty: 330
            – RISP: 321
            – Overall: .321

            Cabrera’s BA:
            – Bases Empty: .314
            – RISP: .353
            – Overall: .325

            Trout is better in the general and low-leverage situations.
            Cabrera is better when it matters.

            It is obvious that both Cabrera and Trout are elite hitters; however,
            Cabrera is simply ‘more clutch’ than Trout. To me that is the defining offensive factor that separates the two.

            Overall, I still maintain what I said earlier:
            – Cabrera for the Hank Aaron Award
            – Trout for the AL MVP

          • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

            what do the writers have to do with anything. we aren’t predicting who will win the MVP award; we are discussing who the MVP is

            why would you look at batting average after wRC? the former includes the latter

            and finally, trout has a higher overall clutch rating. so nope

      • $21621694 3 years ago

        Wow! Putting one of the best offensive numbers ever, and “cabrera has nothing on him” show some respect

    • Paul Shailor 3 years ago

      The best player may very well be trout, but the most valuable is Miggy. The voters have said time and time again when it is close they go to the guy in the playoffs, braun over kemp for instance last year. Miggy is the MVP as he has performed better for his team down the stretch and without him they would be in last place. Miggy/Posey will get the MVP awards.

      • Ausome7 3 years ago

        If Cabrera played in Anaheim we would not be having this discussion. Btw the majority of miggy’s homers are at Comerica. The idea of a hitter being consistently productive in that ballpark needs more credit.

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      Very true.

      So in other words, Miggy should get the Hank Aaron award, and Trout should get the AL MVP.

      The only thing that might affect it is whether or not the Angels make the playoffs.

      Many times in the past, the deciding factor for the MVP award went to the player who made it to the playoffs. You can say that the Angels have a better record, but still, no playoff berth.

    • slider32 3 years ago

      Co MVP’s, you can’t have a guy win the triple crown and not be the MVP.

  3. Bob George 3 years ago

    At the rate Darren Oliver has improved over the last few years, I’d hate to see him retire. He has 5 straight seasons with a lower ERA each year. Hard to believe a decade and half ago he was a mediocre/bad SP.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      watching him pitch has been one of the very few bright spots in the jays season this year, he’s just amazing

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        It’s weird too. He spent alot of his career as a very mediocre starter/reliever. But once he reached 34-35 he became a very good late inning reliever. He will be 42 soon, but is still getting it done.

  4. LazerTown 3 years ago

    Moving Mauer to 3rd is an interesting idea, but who knows, he is getting what he is because he is at a offensive scarce postion. If he could ever regain those 2009 #’s he would be worth it at any position, maybe if he moves off catcher it will be less pressure on his lower body and his power could come back. It’s just difficult because if you move him part time to 3rd you still need to have someone play the other half games at catcher and the same at 3rd. That probably isn’t the same guy either. Would love to see the lefty swing in Yankee Stadium, improbable, but would probably help his power.

    • Amish_willy 3 years ago

      Maybe in year one of the transition he splits time between 3b & C, but I bet by year two they’ve already found their new everyday catcher.

      Joe Mauer at 3b… kinda brings back memories of Wade Boggs. Can you imagine a Dodger infield of Gonzo/Ellis/Mauer/Ramirez… for a little more then Crawford money he could have been theirs.

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        Would be interesting, but unless he can regain his power .400 obp/10 hr hitter is really not an elite 3B. Who knows if he can even handle 3rd though.

  5. Karkat 3 years ago

    I wonder how long it will take before I stop referring to clinching a new wild card spot as “clinching a playoff spot… kinda.”

  6. jammin502 3 years ago

    If the White Sox buy out Peavy’s option and he really loves playing in Chicago, then the Cubs should be all over him. The Cubs tried to get him a couple of years ago and it did not work out. He would instantly become the Cub’s ace and the Cubs have some money to spend.

    • Bob Bunker 3 years ago

      for how many years tho? They aren’t going to be making the playoffs until at least 2015 I would say. That means for the first two years of his deal all Peavy would do is hurt their draft position. Do you give a injury prone pitcher a 5 year deal in hopes the last 3 he can help you contend? I wouldn’t especially when there will be better pitchers available in 2015

      • jammin502 3 years ago

        I am just basing this off of the news that the Cubs say they will be active in the free agency this offseason for starting pitching. Maybe it means retreads or guys that can only get 2 or 3 year deals, or maybe it means signing an injured guy that wants a 1 year deal to prove his health. Not sure. but if they are looking for an ace type, then Peavy could be a target. I also don’t know if I would give Peavy more than a 3 year deal based on his health history …

    • Amish_willy 3 years ago

      I think a re-union in SD could be what lures him. The Padres could afford to give him a 2 year deal worth 22-25m. Sure he might get a couple of million less per year then if he simply took the highest bid, but my guess is San Diego is a big enough lure for him that the Padres could get him cheaper then most, possibly any team. That said you can imagine a young team like the O’s or the Royals giving Peavy an extra year or two to lure him, maybe even 4/50m.

      Peavy keeps getting quoted in the SDUT as wanting to finish his career in San Diego. Now seems to be good for both parties.

  7. Bob Bunker 3 years ago

    I find it interesting that the low payroll Rays have been able to stack up on dominant pitching which is usually considered the hardest commoddity to find in baseball. I know that they keep a low payroll by having great young pitchers under team control but why can’t other teams do the same. Do the rays really have that much of a scouting advantage over teams? If so why don’t big market teams offer more money to the scouting team of the Rays. Just interesting to look out.

  8. Chris 3 years ago

    Peavy is a gonner. White Sox rotation next year
    I Could see Peavy signing with the Braves, Yankees, Diamondbacks, or Orioles this off season.

  9. $21621694 3 years ago

    You can’t just convert a single into a double because of his steals. Also, remember trout is amazingly fast, so I’m sure he has his good share of infield hits, where cabrera has…. you guessed it probably none. Cabrera squares up the ball more than Trout

  10. ultimetwarrior 3 years ago

    you cant score a runner from first on a single plus a stolen base

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