Welcome to another edition of Marty's Musings, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the prior week and the upcoming matchups to watch, identifying numbers that are generally not found in a standard box score.
Last week was not for the timid baseball fan. A flurry of moves (and non-moves) sent baseball twitter into a frenzy for a majority of the week. Several aces changed homes and the Royals, Astros, Blue Jays and Mets(?!) all made moves that indicated they are ready to make a playoff run in 2015; oh, and some games were played as well. It's all in this week's Musings.
Here are this week's Numbers Beyond the Box Score:
Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
107 - Number of players traded in the month of July as part of 33 trades. Although it appeared the trade deadline season got off to a slow start, big names were moved last week including David Price and Troy Tulowitzki (to Toronto), Cole Hamels (to Texas), Carlos Gomez (to Houston), Yoenis Cespedes (to the New York Mets), Johnny Cueto (to Kansas City), and Alex Wood (to the Dodgers). Last July there were 27 trades and 82 players switched teams. It's important to note that these numbers involve trades or sales that involved at least one major league player.
12 - Wins in 15 games for the Phillies, since the All Star Break. Their .800 winning percentage since the time off has been surprising, but the team also had a nice win off the field, getting a pretty sweet haul of prospects from the Rangers as part of the Cole Hamels trade. Philadelphia's front office was regularly getting hammered, but ended up with Jake Thompson (RHP), Nick Williams (OF), Jorge Alfaro (C), among others. In his first start with the Rangers on Saturday, Hamels got hit hard by the Giants. He gave up five earned runs, two home runs, and struck out six over 7 ⅔ innings. For a more detailed recap of the Hamels trade, check out Henry Druschel's recap.
24 - Percentage of Miami Marlins payroll that is currently being paid by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers were part of a three-team trade with Miami and Atlanta that included 15 players and nearly $50 million in salary exchanging hands. Somehow the Dodgers ended up with Alex Wood and Mat Latos as well as the Braves number one prospect (per Baseball America's preseason rankings) in Jose Peraza. In exchange, Atlanta received Cuban slugger Hector Olivera, lefty Paco Rodriguez and Zack Bird (and a competitive balance pick). The Marlins....the Marlins saved money, so I guess they did well on the trade too. To put the money into perspective, Andrew Friedman's Dodgers took on $42 million in salary in the deal, more than the total Tampa Bay payroll in four of Friedman's ten years with the team.
3 - Number of home runs for Lucas Duda on Wednesday night against the Padres. Duda had struggled mightily for the better part of June and July before his breakout week in which he hit seven home runs (including a Sunday night dong) and a game-winning double in Saturday night's division showdown against the Nationals. Duda's bat has been hot and cold all year (167 wRC+ in May, 65 in June, 109 in July), but he's hit nine home runs in his last eight games. With Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup (trade reaction here), a productive Duda gives the Mets some fire in the middle of their lineup. The Mets swept a three game series against the Nats this weekend to effectively tie DC atop the NL East.
48 - Number of hours between Wilmer Flores thinking he was getting traded from the Mets to a moment of jubilation when he hit a game-winning home run against the Nats on Friday. This has to be one of the most up and down 48 hours ever experienced by a player.
125 ⅔ - Innings in which Wade Davis didn't give up a home run. Davis gave up a shot to Jose Bautista which made the game 7-6, Royals. The score would hold despite the "Days Since Last Home Run" clock going from 700 to 0. Oh, and Bautista looks like he had potential for an 80-grade bat flip:
8.75 / 5.56 - Earned run average and FIP for Rays pitcher Matt Moore. Moore was demoted to triple-A last week after a brutal return from Tommy John Surgery. It's worth mentioning the struggles because often the baseball community thinks it is a foregone conclusion that a pitcher will come back as strong or stronger after the surgery.
2 - Benches that cleared on Sunday. Not that these things need to be encouraged (they are mostly foolish for a myriad of reasons), but the skirmishes increased the intensity (and the narrative) between the Blue Jays and Royals. The Pirates and Reds also had some fireworks, but with the Reds quickly going nowhere, will not have potential postseason implications.
What to Watch
Price was sent to the Jays last week, as were Tulo, Ben Revere and others. Price makes his Canadian debut Monday afternoon against a pesky Twins team that is currently in position for the second wild card. The Twins did not do much to upgrade, and in fact, lose Santana for the playoffs (should they make it) due to his earlier performance-enhancing drug suspension. Price has a 63 ERA- and a 77 FIP- thus far this year despite getting roughed up by his former team in Tampa last week.
Tuesday, August 4
Alex Wood (LAD) v. Jerome Williams (PHI)
Wood's first start with the Dodgers comes against the hot-but-very-much-not-good Phillies. Wood has been just about league average this year measured by both adjusted earned run average and FIP, but should be a nice addition for a Dodgers staff that has been beset by injures to both Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy.
Tuesday, August 4
Chris Archer (TB) v. Chris Sale (CHW)
The Rays did not do much to add to their team last week, and the White Sox are going nowhere. However, this pitching matchup features two of the best in the American League and two guys who will very likely finish in the top three for Cy Young voting. Archer has already accumulated a 4.0 fWAR and has an ERA- and FIP- 40 percent better than league average. Chris Sale leads the AL with 177 strikeouts but Archer is not far behind with 173. This game should be on the must-watch list.
Friday, August 7
Mike Leake (SF) v. Kyle Hendricks (CHC)
A battle of two wild card contenders, Mike Leake makes his second start for the Giants against a potent Cubs lineup that (barring an extended injury) features Kris Bryant. Leake has been a league average pitcher this year, but this weekend matchup against the Cubs could give one team a decent advantage over the other going into the middle of the month.
Friday, August 7
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) v. Gerrit Cole (PIT)
Two of the premier pitchers in the National League, Kershaw is working on his streak of scoreless innings which currently sits at 37 innings. His 1.99 xFIP leads all of Major League Baseball, and he has 192 Ks in 148 innings. Cole meanwhile has been masterful as well getting a quality start in 14 of his last 15 games. He has been the main go-to guy in the Pirates rotation and he will have to keep up the pace to make up for what could potentially be an extended absence of injured A.J. Burnett.
*All matchups and pitching probables as of Sunday evening
Editor's Note: An earlier edition mentioned this week was Mike Leake's first start with the Giants. It will be his second.