Chris Sale tops Baseball-Reference.com's American League WAR leaderboard at 6.1 wins. According to FanGraphs, he's fourth in the AL with 4.6 wins. Under normal circumstances, his start-in-start-out reliability would push him to the forefront of the awards-season chatter.
But as the AL Cy Young Race starts to sort itself out for the stretch run, you probably won't see Sale's name in the discussion for one big reason: he's 9-11. As long as Sale's not leading the league in ERA (he's fifth) and/or innings (13th), it's going to be nigh impossible for him to make a serious run at Max Scherzer and his 18-1 record.
That being the case, Daniel Zarchy at The Platoon Advantage compared Sale's game logs to Scherzer's to see how much the story might change if Sale's starts were paired with the Tigers' historic run support, while Scherzer's efforts received the backing of the White Sox offense.
I won't spoil the findings for you, but let's just say that Sale would probably be running away with the race.
Since it's high-impact call-up season, Jonah Keri goes through Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index in search of the greatest late-season audition. Frank Thomas' debut ranks third, and Keri lavishes rightful praise upon him:
Everyone's drooling over Miguel Cabrera right now, and rightfully so. But the fawning over Miggy, Albert Pujols, and Manny Ramirez as the big-name right-handed sluggers of the past two decades makes us forget what Thomas was for the first eight years of his career: the best hitter in baseball in that time, and during that monstrous peak, one of the best ever.
Gabe Kapler, one of baseball's most famous workout freaks, was an easy target for people playing the PED guessing game, so his perspective on the debate is an interesting one. It's a thorough accounting for the temptations a fringe player faces, although I'd like to hear more about the mental aspect. Kapler says confidence is the game-changer (and strength and recovery times feed into it), but I imagine that supreme confidence is what leads to Ryan Braun-like hubris. Where's the tipping point there?
- What the Dodgers should do with Yasiel Puig - Yahoo! Sports
- Yasiel Puig needs to get a grip before Dodgers lose theirs - CBSSports.com
So Wednesday afternoon, Mark wrote an Alex Rios post in the line of SB Nation's Troll Tuesday, which Andrew Sharp took to Grantland for #HotSportsTakes. All are attempts to write the worst possible column with high-horse moralizing, condescending paternalism, tortured metaphors and pop-culture references, and single-sentence paragraphs.
The second Yasiel Puig column is basically what they're making fun of.
We've got two posts featuring photos of pitchers hugging over the last 12 hours, so this seems appropriate.
Jon Niese didn't mean for this to happen.