13 Days Until Camp Opens
With less than a calendar month to go before baseball begins to smell new again we wanted to spend each day going through some of the best performances in 2016. Using game WPA for 15 starting pitcher and hitter performances we hope to be able to take you on a trip down memory lane each day.
This one stings more than I expected. I suspect that the Logan Forsythe band aid is one that is going to hurt more the more often it gets ripped off, but I didn’t think it would be like this. Note that this game was early in the season, and also that this victory put the team within one game of .500. In fact, this win catapulted the team past the Blue Jays for third place within the division. Those were easy times.
The saddest thing that happened in my relationship with the Rays last year was Forsythe getting his shoulder broken by a coward. Felix wasn’t even close:
I know this isn’t the game we’re reviewing, but the frustrating thing is that coming into that game Forsythe had put up a slash of .311/.397/.528 (154 wRC+) over his first 121 plate appearances. That’s enough where the sample is starting to look like it’s almost done with it’s freshman fifteen. Including this game his line was an even higher 182 wRC+ (.341/.426/.610) over 94 PA. It will be a fun time when Dodgers fans pull their heads out of the spreadsheets that show a good, but not great year for Forsythe as they being to understand that a broken shoulder on a fluke play is going to derail your line a bit. If Logan puts up this April in 2017 you’re going to hear early calls supporting his MVP candidacy.
So back to this game. It was a back and forth affair between the Jays and the Rays. Without Forsythe the team wouldn’t have had any chance. None. He went 3-3 with a walk, and he provided the game-tying run courtesy of a homer in the seventh. He also took advantage of Kevin Pillar’s aggressiveness for a hustle double, but they credited the fine center fielder with an error instead. Casali gets the credit for the game-winning hit, but he never would have had the chance without yet another monster day from our newest departed Ray. You’ll be missed, Logan.