Hello again from the world of speech-to-text. Since last week wasn’t a burn down the barn failure. I am trying once again to have a computer help shape my voice, my opinion, and my blood cells. The blurbs came hot and fast this past week, and well, there’s a reason I don’t let my mom read my articles. Now that I have confirmed that speech-to-text brings out my worst stand-up/dad chops, let me remind us all that to be grateful.
In days of yore, the baseball season would stretch out its legs after the All Star break. It would stretch out its legs, and then splay out a bit, maybe untuck its shirt, and even yawn and do some lip-smacking. It would have all the time in the world to do so because the trade deadline was pushed back in the schedule. Now we have the excitement really building, and we’re ready to confirm that the mediocre closer-in-waiting we’ve held on to for the past month after multiple sites informed us they would definitely close is finally the closer.
I also remember the crushing defeat when several sites went mute after a closer that was promised to be traded then didn’t go anywhere. Just incredible assurances of the inevitable, followed by the kind of fart that doesn’t even sound funny.
So let us give thanks for the upcoming trade deadline, make sure to stash those closers-in-waiting, and remember that a change of scenery for any hitter or pitcher does not guarantee future success. It just means the stadiums they mostly play in will look different behind them.
On to the blurbs!
A Blurbstomp Reminder
We will analyze player blurbs from a given evening, knowing that 1-2 writers are usually responsible for all the player write-ups posted within an hour of the game results. We will look at:
- Flowery Diction – how sites juice up descriptions of player performance
- Friendly Reminder – when a blurb insists upon itself
- Q and Q – when a site contradicts a player valuation on back-to-back blurbs
- The Blame Game – a player takes on the fault of the team as a whole
- Stephen A. Smith IMG_4346.jpeg Award – Given to the player blurb that promises the most and delivers the least.
- Bob Nightengale Syndrome – instances of updates that don’t update anything
The hope is that by season’s end, we’ll all feel more confident about our player evaluations when it comes to the waiver wire. We will read blurbs and not be swayed by excessive superlatives, faulty injury reporting, and micro-hype. I will know that I have done my job when Grey posts, and there isn’t a single question about catchers that he did not address in his post. Onward to Roto Wokeness!
Grisham tattooed an RBI double to right field in the fifth inning of Monday’s series opener against the Tigers for his lone hit in four at-bats. The 25-year-old outfielder was back in the Padres’ lineup following a one-game absence due to a relatively minor back issue stemming from a collision with Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt last weekend.
That is the Expected Batting Average for Trent Grisham’s ‘sliced’ and ‘tattooed’ RBI double against the Tigers. The reason why xBA is a thing is that while it was well hit, the reason why it fell for a hit was due to the right fielder losing the ball in the lights. The language of the blurb indicates that he hit it with authority to where the OF wasn’t, but he should have been out. This is important if you’re still holding Grisham or side-eyeing him on the waiver wire.
I get that it’s hard to write these little blurbs, but MLB.tv is an app that has a video of every scoring moment in a given baseball game. They also provide exit velocity numbers and other context that could change this blurb into a more accurate representation of Grisham’s lonely batted-ball event.
If you think this is being a bit unfair to the blurber, feast your eyes on this next blurb:
The double was a fly to deep left against a four-man outfield that Gleyber Torres, who was playing in left, had go off his glove. It was correctly, and obviously, ruled an error initially, but it was later changed because it would make the Orioles happy.
This is one of the saltier blurbs I’ve happened upon. Scorer’s decisions are a strange beast, especially when teams advocate flipping errors into hits and vice versa. The thing that bugs me about this blurb is the assumption of ill intent directed towards the Orioles. Even if this was true, which I’m too tired to look up, who cares? Oh, bookies and players of head-to-head fantasy baseball do?
Ah. I see.
Again, I understand that blurb sites have multiple authors writing up post-game stat highlights, and that said approach leads to a hazy if not fractured tone. Even with that caveat, we see Grisham’s gift of a hit turned into a “tattoed slice” and Rutschman’s double turned into a concept to be scorned. The anger in the latter is so petty and strange. It’s making me shake my head over here. I can’t even say all of what I’m saying because I’m so flummoxed. I’m SMH over here. I’m shook, TBH, so ISMHOHIS. TBH.
Royals placed LHP Ángel Zerpa on the 15-day injured list with a left knee injury.
Zerpa suffered that injury in the fifth inning of his start Tuesday night against the Angels. This all comes with unfortunate timing for the talented 22-year-old southpaw, who had been establishing himself as a reliable option for the Royals’ rotation with a 1.64 ERA through 11 innings.
We are stretching the word ‘reliable’ to the point of breaking and it has unfortunately snapped. It is a word that means the subject is can be depended on with consistency. Zerpa has pitched all of 11 innings, with an appearance for two innings preceding his two starts. For his career (and covering the five remaining innings of his entire career in the Majors), Zerpa has an xFIP of 4.46, a SIERA of 5.04, a K/9 rate that gets uncomfortably close to his BB/9 rate (3.94 vs 2.25).
None of these are trends that the Royals would like their pitchers to rely on? Right? I hope? Dayton Moore tends to build vague “character-based” skill sets in players, but this seems too far out. Then again, who was the last great pitcher that the Royals developed in the minors? Grienke is the only one I can remember. Danny Duffy was pretty good I guess?
It seems like every pitcher that has recently come up in their system has hype attached, only to get demolished and demoted. Brady Singer is starting to put it together, but Zerpa is no way, no how.
At his best, Zerpa was building towards a career as a serviceable number five starter. Add in the fact that 16 innings do not paint a complete portrait of any pitcher (maybe just their face and part of their torso, depending on where you start. I can’t imagine starting a portrait with someone’s feet and working up. That’s probably why most portraits have their subjects seated or cut off at the torso. I have a feeling that if I led with the head, I’d run out of room, and end up with a portrait with a giant head face, and a body that looks like it’s being crushed by gravity the lower one’s gaze travels). We will not know who Angel Zerpa is until the Royals actually give him a shot, which won’t happen soon due to an IL stint.
Hex Enduction Hour
Trout returns to the Angels’ lineup for Saturday’s Freeway Series finale after missing three consecutive contests due to back spasms. The 30-year-old fantasy superstar underwent both an MRI exam and a CT scan earlier this week, which came back clean and didn’t reveal a strain. He should be good to go heading into next week’s Midsummer Classic.
This was an injury hex that could have been avoided if not for the “He should be good to go…” line. Somewhere, in a dark evergreen forest, beneath a canopy of branches so thick that it rejects all light, there lies a conjurer’s cottage. Gentle blue smoke wafts from the chimney, but no one is home. You open the door to see a freshly tended fire glowing in the hearth. Your eyes drift to an open book sitting on a desk otherwise covered in melted candle wax and ink stains. You lift the tome and spy its dusty cover: “Ancient Runes and Magicks of the Sporte Variety.” You blow the dust off the cover and the book jumps out of your hands, landing open to a page with the words “Baseball Injurie Curses, Hexes, Jinkses.”
The very first curse listed?
“He should be good to go.”
To wit, on the very same day of this blurb, some 2+ hours later:
The Angels have zero reason to push Trout in their final contest before next week’s All-Star break, so he’s been scratched from Saturday’s series finale in Los Angeles just a few minutes prior to first pitch. It’s unclear whether he’ll be ready to go in time for Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic. Stay tuned.
Do not hate the blurbist, hate the game! The game is a centuries-old alchemical/magickal boon and curse competition that remains in place to this day, and most do not recognize that the true magick lives within us all, as expressed via the written word.
I wrote the Trout section of this article on Tuesday before hearing the news about his strange back condition. It did not surprise me that twitter blew up with, “His career is over,” or, “I’m a doctor and he could play tomorrow,” or, “If he was a real man, he would take his ivermectin and bath salts, storm a live Weather Channel broadcast, and declare himself the Grand Inquisitor of All Climate.” What surprised me was that I became that which I denigrated.
I placed yet another curse on Mike Trout, and for that, I apologize. I’m fine with everything else I say, unless you email or tweet (@hugedays) at me and remind me how I have wronged you. I am less than a perfect creature, friends, and for that I am grateful.
May your trade deadline blurbs stomp you gently into the night.