Overheard and Understood: Bronson Arroyo Heating Up, As Usual
Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo is one of the latter. Despite losing his last two outings -- on Monday he allowed just three runs in eight innings at Milwaukee -- Arroyo is holding form.
Since mid-June, Arroyo is 5-3 with a 3.29 ERA, allowing only 39 hits in 54 2/3 innings. His overall ERA has dropped from 4.80 to 4.21.
"This time of year," he said earlier this month, "when it starts heating up and we start getting closer to August, for some reason I always feel like I have good stuff."
This is nothing new. Over his career, Arroyo's ERA is nearly a full run better after the All-Star break (3.71) than before (4.70).
"I don't know if, for some reason, coming out of [spring training] camp, it always takes me a while to really get clicking on all cylinders," Arroyo said. "Sometimes maybe the heat, guys that have to play every day are starting to go down the hill a pinch. And I don't feel that way. So you just hope that you did last year, which is reel off the last [part] of the season really nice."
Expect Arroyo to get even better. He has consistently reeled off strong Septembers; his career record for September and (regular-season) October games is 21-9, with a 3.22 ERA. Last year he was 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA over his final six starts.
Around the Majors
• In case you were wondering, the trade deadline has been July 31 since 1986.
From 1923 until 1985, the deadline was June 15. For example, the Mets got Keith Hernandez from the Cardinals on June 15, 1983, and the 1984 trade that sent Rick Sutcliffe from the Indians to the Cubs took place on June 13
Also before 1986, trades between leagues were treated differently than intraleague deals. To trade a player to the other league required passing the player through your league's waivers, except for certain windows.
The first trade deadline was set by the National League, for the 1917 season, with a deadline of Aug. 20. The AL set its first deadline three years later, at July 1.
In 1921, the leagues agreed to move their deadlines to Aug. 1. On Dec. 14, 1922, the deadline was changed to June 15 after gaining approval at the Joint Major League meetings held at the Hotel Commodore in New York. It would stay June 15 until after the 1985 season.
It wasn't until 1959 that the leagues created non-waiver interleague trading periods -- allowing players to be traded between leagues without first clearing waivers in their original league.
Until 1977, interleague trades without waivers were only allowed for the first few weeks of the offseason, until Dec. 15. Then a second interleague trade period was added, from Feb. 15 to March 15 (extended to April 1 in 1981).
The distinction between interleague and intraleague trades lasted until the deadline was moved later in 1986.
• Cubs closer Carlos Marmol has more strikeouts (91) than starters Javier Vazquez (86), A.J. Burnett (85), Derek Lowe (81), Ted Lilly (81), John Lackey (77) or Mike Pelfrey (72).
• Kenley Jansen, called up last Friday from Double-A by the Dodgers, had converted from catching to pitching less than a year earlier. His mound debut was July 30, 2009, and he had 56 2/3 innings between Class A and Double-A before getting to the majors.
• Pedro Alvarez seems to be heating up after being overmatched when first called up to Pittsburgh. But that just fits his career pattern: struggling early at a new level, then adjusting and producing.
According to minorleaguesplits.com, Alvarez batted .219 in April 2009 at Class A and then .263 in May and June before going to Double-A. After a 3-for-25 start there, he batted .360 in July and August. In Triple-A this year, Alvarez batted .226 in April and then .310 in May and June.
• When the Cardinals got shut out Thursday and Friday, it ended their record streak of 2,370 games without being blanked two games in a row. It last happened Sept. 24-25, 1995, against Mike Hampton of the Astros and Frank Castillo of the Cubs.
• One reason the Nationals are asking a lot for Adam Dunn might be pressure from the clubhouse to keep him. Dunn wants to stay, one source said, and his teammates want him there, but so far no extension has been worked out.
• Remember when the Yankees decided to let Hideki Matsui leave as a free agent and instead traded for Curtis Granderson and signed Nick Johnson? Well, until Granderson hit two home runs Sunday, Matsui had as many homers at Yankee Stadium this year as Granderson -- three -- and one more than Johnson.
Granderson, by the way, did not homer off an American League pitcher for nearly seven weeks, between June 8 and Sunday. For the season, he has two homers off Boston, two off Baltimore, two off Kansas City, one against Cleveland and three in interleague play.
• Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks has a shot at becoming the second player to drive in 100 runs from the leadoff spot in the order. The first was Darin Erstad, on the 2000 Angels.
• Before getting Alberto Callaspo from the Royals, the Angels checked on the Pirates' Garrett Jones, but talks died when Pittsburgh asked for infielder Maicer Izturis.
And Tampa Bay seemed to have some interest in David DeJesus before he suffered his season-ending wrist injury, with Kansas City having looked at Double-A lefty Jake McGee.
DeJesus got hurt on Derek Jeter's inside-the-park homer last Thursday. On Jeter's only other inside-the-park home run -- Aug. 2, 1996 -- Royals outfielder Tom Goodwin suffered a left shoulder injury and came out of the game. Goodwin only missed one more game, however.
• The Mets are 2-12 in road series, with three splits. The only two road series wins came in June, at Baltimore and Cleveland.