This interview was conducted in Spanish and has been translated. Read it in Spanish here.
Did you see yourself as a bridge between Latinos and U.S. players, especially as a translator?
Yeah, I definitely was the bridge to do it sometimes. Sometimes, when they have no one to translate, I just go in and help some Hispanic guys.
The last time anyone accomplished the feat was in Game 7 the 2014 World Series, when Giants ace Madison Bumgarner came out of the bullpen to throw five innings to clinch the championship over the Royals.
Criticize Moncada for his high strikeout rate, hurting his batting average, as it’s not unfair to do so. It is not, however, a product of shoddy plate discipline, as he’s actually one of the choosier hitters out there, and rather just has a lot of holes in his swing. Moncada’s 22 percent chase rate (percentage of non-strikes at which he swung) is 34th-best among batting title eligible players, and is actually a near-two-percent improvement upon his 2017 number, showing that he’s even growing in that regard.
Kyle Soppe: I want to go out and get Dallas Keuchel if I can. While I do think it will continue to be a season of streaks for Keuchel, his asking price in most leagues is more going to reflect the bad streaks than the good at this moment. As much as we hate them, wins are a category and Keuchel has just four wins in 15 starts (Houston’s other four starters have won 55.7 percent of their starts). That number should correct itself as the season progresses. In addition to the wins, the ratios are also likely to improve.
By not batting Monday, Ohtani ended a six-game streak of being in L.A.’s lineup, his longest such streak in his first MLB season. His .291 batting average is third among Angels hitters with at least 50 at-bats, and he has six homers and 20 RBIs in 103 plate appearances.
After installing the humidor at Coors Field, the Rockies saw a decrease in home run production of about 25 percent, and while it’s a little soon to conclusively judge the effects, Alan Nathan — one of the authors of the MLB study — found that a humidor could expect to hamper home runs by about 25-50 percent at Chase Field.
The effects might be less dramatic elsewhere, though, or even backfire. Few cities have such extreme relative humidity as Denver or Phoenix; the average humidity during the summer months is about 30 percent in Phoenix and 45 percent in Denver, while the average humidity in most other MLB cities is around 60-70 percent.
Phoenix and Denver store their balls at 50 percent humidity, which deadens the ball, but if other teams were to store their balls at that same humidity, they would see their home runs rise relative to their current totals (the committee’s study notes that MLB recommended to teams in April 2015 that they store their baseballs at 50 percent humidity, but it’s unclear whether any teams followed through on the recommendation).