They watched and rooted him on as he made history on the college gridiron. They watched and rooted him on as he made his mark in the NFL. They watch and root him on as he works in the community to better the lives of those around him.
Former Florida Gators and current Cubs catcher David Ross has seen a lot in his 14 years in the Majors. He also admires Tebow’s passion and said he would never criticize someone for giving a heartfelt effort.
Last season, Cole went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA in 208 innings over 32 starts, finishing fourth in National League Cy Young Award voting. He avoided the disabled list entirely and credited his routine for his consistent success on the mound.
Leake was replaced by Alex Reyes, the Cardinals’ top prospect, in the rotation Saturday. Reyes, who is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings, likely will continue to pitch in Leake’s spot while he is out.
“I just think it was inevitable [he would go on the DL] given that he wasn’t turning the corner, but it does look better now,” manager Mike Matheny said. “It’s a little more contained, his energy level’s up, his appetite is better. Things are starting to go a positive direction for the first time.”
But for every rule, or assumed rule, there’s always going to be outliers. In the case of Sanchez, who made his most recent return to the big leagues less than a month ago, we seem to have exactly that. Small samples or not, you can’t fake arm strength like this. For all the talk of his hitting feats, clearly he’s not going to be hitting .405 for the foreseeable future. The arm, though, that’s very real. We expected that coming up. Now, we know it for certain. You can be pretty sure that opposing runners have figured that out, too.
Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
The Cardinals signed Leake to a five-year, $80 million deal in December shortly after they learned that Lance Lynn would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Leake is 9-9 with a 4.56 ERA for the Cardinals.
With Michael Wacha and Leake out, the Cardinals have rookies in two of their five rotation spots. Luke Weaver took over Wacha’s rotation spot three starts ago.
“There wasn’t anything I saw from Luke Weaver or anything I saw from Alex Reyes that tells me they shouldn’t be back out there, regardless of the situation,” Matheny said. “They’re young pitchers, but they’re young pitchers with good stuff and they’re getting better each time they go out. So, keep them rolling.”