From Last Night:
- Matt Moore dominates the Yankees, tosses 8 2-hit innings and strikes out 9 in a 5-1 win
- Miller and the Cards edge the Nats 3-2
- Felix and the Mariners handle the Astros
What I’m Watching Today:
- Wainwright looks to stay hot against Detwiler and the Nats (7p Eastern)
- Kershaw and Niese hook up in a battle of talented lefties (7p Eastern)
- Cain looks to straighten out against rookie standout Patrick Corbin (10p Eastern)
The Big Question:
- Will we be watching the NL Cy Young today with Kershaw and Wainwright in action?
I was a big believer in Shin Shoo Choo going into the season from an offensive perspective. I thought he was exactly what the Reds needed. So far, that looks pretty good. The defense is hit and miss so far (-3.7 UZR), but here’s his line as of 10:12pm on April 22:
.371/.522/.614, .490 wOBA, 216 wRC+, 1.3 WAR
Not bad. He’s only reaching base more often that he is making outs. That’s not a valuable skill or anything. How’s he doing it? Well he’s a patient hitter in a good park, but he’s also been hit 10 times. The league leader was only hit 17 all of last season. He’s on pace for close to 80 HBP, which would be silly, but he’s going to have a lot. The record, should you be interested, belongs to Ron Hunt of the 1971 Expos. He was hit 50 times. Don Baylor was hit 35 times in 1986, which is second best. Choo might have a shot at that one.
After a few big trades this offseason, the Indians, Reds, and Diamondbacks felt left out and got involved in one of their own last night.
The three team deal sends SS Didi Gregorius, LHP Tony Sipp, and 1B Lars Anderson to Arizona, OF Drew Stubbs, RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Matt Albers, and RHP Bryan Shaw to Cleveland, and OF Shin-Soo Choo and INF Jason Donald to the Reds.
The Reds needed a leadoff man and a centerfielder. They definitely got the leadoff man. Choo’s on base skills are top flight, but his ability to play centerfield is in question. If he can handle it, the Reds come out pretty well in the deal. They’re a team on the brink of a title and a few more marginal wins could easily be the difference and they made this addition without losing anyone from the big league roster.
The Diamondbacks needed a shortstop and a left handed reliever, and they got them. But they gave up an awful lot in terms of prospect value for an equally unproven return. Giving up on Bauer after a year and a half seems like a foolish move given that they made him the #3 pick two summers ago. They have young pitching depth, but this doesn’t seem like the upgrade they needed.
The Indians made out very well in this deal as they gave up one season of Choo, a utility infielder, and a respectable reliever for some really solid prospects and a useful OF. They weren’t ready to contend in 2013 so they traded Choo for a nice bundle of future talent. Hard not to like it.
The deal makes tons of sense for the tribe and little sense for Arizona. The Reds are the wild card. Choo is exactly what they need on offense and a very big question mark on defense. How Choo plays in centerfield at Great American Ballpark will determine how this trade is ultimately viewed.
Grade (Indians): A-, Grade (Diamondbacks): C-, Grade (Reds):B