Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting key pitching matchups.
Last week some franchise players were dealt as recent competitors like the Cubs and Nationals completely cleaned-house. The Dodgers, Rays, Jays, and basically every competitive NL West team made some major improvements.
News & Notes
161 - Consecutive games away from their home field for the Toronto Blue Jays, who finally got to return to Rogers Centre this weekend. It was a nice homecoming as Toronto swept Kansas City in the three game set.
6+ - Seasons for three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in a Nats’ uniform. Washington started their tear-down dealing Scherzer to the Dodgers. In exchange for their ace and arguably their best position player, Washington received Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, Gerardo Carrillo and Donovan Casey, Jesse Dougherty.
146 - OPS+ for Trea Turner, who somehow ended up being the second player in the Scherzer deal. Gavin Lux and Corey Seager had been serviceable, but pale in comparison to player of Turner’s caliber.
The Nationals also traded away Jon Lester (to the Cardinals), Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison, to the Athletics for minor leaguers, and Kyle Schwarber to the Red Sox in an everything-must-go sales event!
3 - Player, one city deal sent Cubs’ closer Craig Kimbrel to the crosstown White Sox in exchange for Nick Madrigal and right handed reliever Codi Heuer.
6/5 - The last time Giants third baseman Evan Longoria played for the Giants. Longoria has been out with an injury following a collision in that June game, and made a major upgrade at third base acquiring rental Kris Bryant from the revamping Cubs.
80 - ERA- for newly acquired Blue Jays ace Jose Berrios. After being drafted 32nd overall by Minnesota, and starting 136 games for the Twins, Minnesota sent him to the wild card hunting Jays.
41 - Year old Nelson Cruz was moved from Minnesota as well, he landed with the Rays.
7 - Consecutive games with a home run for Reds’ veteran Joey Votto. Votto has been on an absolute tear recently, though the Reds still remain seven full games behind the Brewers in the NL Central.
Fernando Tatis Jr. hit the IL with shoulder issues. It’s the third time he’s partially dislocated his shoulder since the start of the season.
Jacob deGrom will continue to miss time with arm inflammation.
Rays’ Cy Young winner Tyler Glasnow will have season-ending Tommy John Surgery.
Terry Francona is stepping down as Cleveland’s manager amidst health concerns.
Matchups to Watch
Tuesday, August 3
Max Fried (ATL) v. Jon Lester (STL), 8:15 ET
Atlanta is two games under .500, and four games behind the Mets in the NL East, while the Cardinals are seven behind Milwaukee. The wild card numbers aren’t any better, meaning if either team is going to make a run at a playoff spot, now’s the time.
Wednesday, August 4
Jake Odorizzi (HOU) v. Max Scherzer (LAD), 9:40 ET
Max Scherzer makes his first start in a Dodgers’ uniform against former vanquished World Series foe (for Scherzer). Los Angeles hasn’t seen first place in months, but could make a statement with a strong series against the AL West leading Astros.
Saturday, August 7
Nick Pivetta (BOS) v. Jose Berrios (TOR), 3:07 ET
Berrios makes his first start for the Jays against a strong Boston lineup that is jockeying back-and-forth with the Rays for first place in the AL East.
Sunday, August 8
Johnny Cueto (SF) v. Brett Anderson (MIL), 2:10 ET
The Giants and Brewers have been in first place for quite a while, and potentially could match up in the playoffs.
Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano