The Houston Astros have to add a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. If just because they don’t want to have to rely on Lance McCullers and Dallas Keuchel so much down the stretch that they completely wear them out before the postseason, they have to add someone.
They may have just got a line in on that someone.
Yesterday, Buster Olney reported that the New York Mets are more or less giving up on their season and shopping several players including Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera.
The Mets are open for business and the Astros will surely be making some calls, if not for a single one of those players. They have their eyes set much higher.
USA Today obtained a copy of Saturday’s MLB memo, which details the process the league goes through to test baseballs, and notes “there is no evidence that the composition of the ball has changed in any way.”
The one-page memo also notes that testing is done at least three times a year and measures the size, weight, seam height, circumference and COR (or the “bounciness”) of the baseballs. Interestingly, league tests determined that the COR of baseballs this season is “slightly lower” than the average COR of balls tested last year. The higher the COR, the greater the exit velocity of a batted ball.
The memo concludes, “The baseball in use today tests well within the established guidelines on every key performance metric. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the composition of the ball has changed in any way that would lead to a meaningful impact on on-field play.”
For whatever reasons, baseball is witnessing the biggest explosion of home runs in the sport’s history. As of the start of play Saturday, the league was on a pace to see 6,139 home runs this season, which would smash the record of 5,693 home runs set in 2000 — during the height of the sport’s infamous steroid era.