Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Partly Sonny


I was thinking about this the other day, because Frankie Montas has been proving himself in Cincinnati this year, after just...failing to show up in New York. And it's just clear how unfit some people are for New York in general. My dad calls it 'Ed Whitson disease', you have a great career, you try to make it work in New York and it really doesn't happen, and then you go back and the magic reappears. Montas is looking like his old self this year, and the Reds are reaping the benefits. 

And it's funny, because Montas has the exact same career trajectory that Sonny Gray had, though Montas was in a few farm systems before landing in Oakland. Come to prominence for the A's, midyear trade to New York for some prospects that are thought foolish but mostly aren't, cannot get a single thing done for the Yankees. Signs a low-hazard deal with the Reds, now he's back. Sonny Gray is the better pitcher, and has the better career, but that is the path. 

It's very funny looking at Sonny Gray's numbers and seeing just how consistent he's been. Been around for 12 years, just notched 100 wins, could pass 2000 strikeouts if he keeps it up for the next few years. Since he joined the Reds he's only had 1 season with an ERA higher than 4, and he's coming off his single strongest season in years. He's not a Hall of Famer, but it's very cool seeing him continue to produce consistently into his 30s. He was once the hip young thing of the leagues, now he's 34 and still extremely strong on the mound.

And even if the Cardinals going with a veteran rotation this year is a wee bit misguided, getting Gray back off the IL has helped them a bit, as he's been stellar since his activation. In 6 games he's 4-2 with a 2.29 ERA and 44 strikeouts. This is, though, undeniably the best performance in the rotation. Kyle Gibson's also decent, but he's very much an innings eater with added perks here and there. Lynn's okay, Mikolas is struggling, they're letting Matthew Liberatore start and unsurprisingly he's not doing well so far. Maybe give Andre Pallante another shot? Who knows. They just need a steady answer, and I hate that this rotation already seems like it's falling off. 

The Cards themselves still aren't great. Goldschmidt and Arenado are still looking past their prime. Gorman, Donovan and Nootbaar still aren't getting anything done. Contreras was doing awesome but now he's out for a bit. It's just a very meh affair with the occasional defensive move and the occasional strong bullpen day. They've caught up to the Reds in the standings, and the Reds are a better team with worse luck at the moment. I think the Reds will come out of it, but the Cardinals, unless a lot happens at once, might be a last place team yet again. 

Coming Tonight: It took a while for teams to figure out how to hit him, but even now he's got some tricky stuff left. 

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