East Notes: Villanueva, Red Sox, Nationals, Strasburg

Last night, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters that he isn't sure if impending free agent Carlos Villanueva could last as a starter across the course of an entire season.  Villanueva, who has a 3.58 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 13 starts this year, told reporters that he isn't happy with the lack of public support, according to Tony Ambrogio of Sportsnet (via Twitter).  The right-hander is looking to be a full-time starter going forward, which would call for a more lucrative contract.  Here's more from the Eastern divisions..

  • Villanueva told reporters, including MLB.com's Chris Toman, that he took some time to speak with Anthopoulos following his comments to the media.  "It's OK for him to have that doubt. It's OK for him to have his own opinion, because there are 29 other teams that might have a different opinion — that's why we battle to get to free agency, so we can see what else is out there," Villanueva said.
  • A person who is familiar with the Red Sox's ownership group told Peter Gammons of MLB.com (Twitter link) that the rumors of the club being for sale aren't true.  Earlier today, Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino took to the Boston airwaves to deny the rumblings.  Owner John Henry also shot down the speculation of a sale.
  • The Astros are set to interview Nationals third base coach Bo Porter for their vacant managerial position, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.  Porter, 40, is the first name to surface as having interviewed for the position.  Tony DeFrancesco has been managing the club on an interim basis since Brad Mills was let go last month.
  • Rany Jazayerli of Grantland argues that the Nationals were wrong to shut down Stephen Strasburg.  Jazayerli looks back at how other promising young pitchers were used it the past and also questions why the Nats imposed an innings limit on Strasburg rather than a pitch limit.


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23 Comments on "East Notes: Villanueva, Red Sox, Nationals, Strasburg"


LazerTown
2 years 10 months ago

I definetely agree on PAP. Although the Nats have been stressing all season about low pitch counts. They have been trying to get their starters to work the strikeout only when necessary. Some pitchers just seem to defy the odds and are absolute workhorses.

corey23
2 years 10 months ago

The media is so annoying. Just shut up about the Red Sox already. Every possible gossipy rumor that could come out has come out this year.

go_jays_go
2 years 10 months ago

Blue Jays would be fools to not re-sign Villaneuva.

rikersbeard
2 years 10 months ago

Pretty sure that they have a better sense than anybody else what they have in Villanueva. There are good reasons to worry and not just about his durability (though that is a real concern). Despite being something of a right-handed soft-tosser, he doesn’t command the zone as much as you would expect given his numbers. He leaves a bunch of balls up. I think some folks are worried that the league is going to adjust to him and he is not going to have a lot of resources in his arm/repertoire to adjust back.

mkl_nyn
2 years 10 months ago

Doesn’t sound like he’s interested in coming back if there are other options. AA probably shouldn’t have thrown CV under the bus by making his opinion public. He’s only 28, someone will sign him for 3/20+ easy.

go_jays_go
2 years 10 months ago

“he doesn’t command the zone as much as you would expect”

I understand what you mean in the above quote, because lately he’s been
pitching much worse when compared to himself earlier in the season.

That could be from a lack of endurance.

However, CV is going to be a 5th starter so even if he regresses, he should
still be okay. Give him $5 maybe $6m a year with a vesting option and
performance bonuses; I’m sure he can produce at least 1.5 WAR.

mlbscout6
2 years 10 months ago

Totally agree about Strasburg and pitch counts being more important than innings. To all you Astros fans, you better pray that they don’t sign Bo Porter to be the new manager. I see a bright future for that franchise, but Porter would only serve to dim that potential.

discollama
2 years 10 months ago

The problem with the article is that it uses a premise that his innings limit was not based on total pitches. If you look at his total pitches to innings pitched ratio, he’s sitting at 16.36 pitches per inning, for reference, 15 pitches per inning gets you to the 7th inning with 105 pitches thrown. I also get the impression from the Nationals that giving him a full workload every game (around 100 pitches) was important to them.

The article is also pretty shaky when Jazayerli counts young starters vs survivors and notes that more pitchers are lasting his 5 year benchmark longer, I’m pretty sure that there’s a good amount of noise there from when the league expanded and current models of how soon a pitcher is really ready for the majors (even though his conclusion seems sound).

While I agree that pitch counts are more important than innings, I can’t find any evidence, despite going through every game he’s pitched in 2012, to say that he was seriously over worked in a any single game save one 119 pitch effort. The vast majority of his starts he threw less than 100 pitches. What’s even more worrisome is that Jazayerli said he labored through his 6 innings to throw 119 (he rounded up to 120) pitches, however, he struck out 13 and only walked two! That’s hardly laboring in my book.

It sounds like he’s just jumped on the “Let him pitch!” bandwagon and is using as much fuzzy math/smoke and mirrors as he can to make it look like Strasburg was misused, which he wasn’t. And for anyone that wishes to use the “They should have started him later” argument, I wouldn’t have trusted Lannan at the start of the year given his poor ST numbers and poor overall AAA numbers, and Strasburg pitched in tight games for his first seven starts, even the games that the Nats won by more than 4 they only managed to score the extra runs in the 6th inning, right after Strasburg was lifted for a reliever.

MarinersRoyalsBraves2014
2 years 10 months ago

Villanueva can go a whole season as a #4 on the Dodgers.

Runtime
2 years 10 months ago

Sounds like Carlos is walking…

brett
2 years 10 months ago

I do find it humorous when every national writers tells us fans how outraged we Nats fans should be. Rizzo has all the medical info. Dr. James Andrews was behind this, Strasburgs surgeon agrees its smart. I trust their opinions more than Jazayerli’s. Besides, I think Rizzo has earned the benefit of the doubt. He does have a pretty good track record as GM thus far

discollama
2 years 10 months ago

Listening to WTOP a few days ago, they said that Yoccum, the surgeon who performed Strasburg’s surgery, was actually never asked for his opinion, which I found shocking. He did say, however, that there isn’t enough evidence one way or the other. If that’s the case, then I’m playing it safe with a great young talent like Strasburg.

Natsfan89
2 years 10 months ago

He amended his original statement to the LA Times

“Yocum also issued the following statement:

‘I would like to correct the misimpression generated from today’s L.A.
Times article, that I have not been a participant in discussions with
the Washington Nationals regarding the recovery strategy for pitcher
Stephen Strasburg. In fact, I have been contacted repeatedly and have
had numerous discussions with the Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and the team’s
medical personnel, as recently as mid-August. While the final decision
was up to the team, as is standard practice, I was supportive of their
decision and am comfortable that my medical advice was responsibly
considered.

discollama
2 years 10 months ago

I’m not going to call the quote into doubt, but it’s odd considering that in his original release he said he hadn’t spoken to the Nationals since winter and he had last spoken to Strasburg in the spring. Perhaps he was misquoted or misunderstood, but what I heard was clearly the opposite.

If his second statement is true then I feel even better about him being shutdown. They needed Strasburg to get where they are now, I’m almost sure of it, but they won’t need Strasburg the rest of the way now that the offense is healthy, or in the post season where you can get away with 3-4 starters.

Natsfan89
2 years 10 months ago

The whole thing is very strange. Yocum performed Tommy John surgery on Lucas Giolito, so he’d obviously spoken to the Nationals recently. Then to add to the strangeness Scott Boras has come out and said he knows the Nationals spoke to Yocum and that he was heavily involved in the rehab process.

dc21892
2 years 10 months ago

Here’s my view. Throwing TOO much can certainly have its downfall but if he is pitching in what should have been 32 starts or so, then potentially 3-6 more in the playoffs he would be fine. Just watch his pitch count, and limit his bullpen sessions. In order to improve arm strength you have to use it. Pitching every 5th day will keep him sharp and strong. Now, going into next season he will have to work even harden on building his arm strength up since he was shut down early.

vtadave
2 years 10 months ago

A hack? Seriously? I think he’s quite good, particularly back in his BP days.

beisbolista
2 years 10 months ago

And who hasn’t read the insurance policy on his contract apparently. It seems that with regard to Strasburg, everybody is a medical expert. With everything considered, if it was even a remote possibility for Strasburg to be pitching right now, you could be sure that the Nationals would have him pitching

Cha5678
2 years 10 months ago

rany’s study fails to focus on already-injured pitchers or those recovering from TJS. It’s amateur work honestly.

discollama
2 years 10 months ago

This is the other thing that no one takes into consideration. His insurance policy clearly states that if he pitches over a certain number of innings after Tommy John surgery that the insurance contract will be voided.

jb226
2 years 10 months ago

People take it into consideration, they just don’t care. I am not offering an opinion one way or another about whether or not Strasburg should be pitching right now, but it’s pretty clear that the argument is “you have to protect your investment” versus “this chance right now is what you’re investing for.” If one ends up on the latter side of the argument, he is not going to be dissuaded by an insurance policy.

discollama
2 years 10 months ago

Oh, I believe that they take into consideration protecting the investment that is Strasburg, but I highly doubt that many understand or know that the insurance policy on him has that kind of wording in it, thus making it an even clearer cut decision.

beisbolista
2 years 10 months ago

You don’t invest in a player like the nationals invested in Strasburg for one all-out year in any situation. You invest like the nationals did in Strasburg for a franchise player. Again, if the nationals thought it was even a halfway possibility for Strasburg to be pitching right now, you can be sure that he would be pitching right now.