Unwritten Baseball Rules: Yerminator vs Astudillo


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Well it’s a tale as old as time. Young vs Old. Tradition vs Innovation. This week we go north to Minnesota where the White Sox paid a visit in a divisional matchup. Although it’s early in the season, Minnesota are on pace to miss the playoffs while the White Sox are looking to send a message to the Yankees about the top dog in the American League.

The Yerminator strikes again

In a surprising twist, this scenario is almost as peculiar as the previous Unwritten Baseball Rules segment involving an alleged rat or raccoon. It all started when the Twins gave up all hope against the White Sox as they were down by 11 in the top of the ninth so they proceeded to let Willians Astudillo, a position player, pitch to close out the landslide win.

Astudillo got behind in the count 3-0 and proceeded to throw a 47 mph lob up in the strike zone and Yermin Mercedes took him deep to center. Mercedes rounded the bases and celebrated with his teammates in the dugout. Astudillo was visibly upset at Mercedes after the home run. Mercedes didn’t seem to care. Twins players were upset and White Sox players were rather happy. So who’s wrong here? This situation is very tricky to navigate but there will be a conclusion, I promise.

Astudillo having fun but surprisingly trying

First, we need to understand that Astudillo is in fact a position player. He is not a pitcher so the Twins have given up at this point. They understand there is no route in which they can win so they want to save some arms in the bullpen. This alone is a rather debatable topic since you put your opposition in a weird scenario right away. They either get a hit and be seen as having bad sportsmanship for bolstering statistics or they strike out and get laughed at. In some situation this can be all fun and games but in others… not so much. Still I’ll give this point to the traditionalists.

Second, you need to understand that Astudillo does have some experience pitching in these situations. Of course he is by no means a pitcher, but he wants to get hitters out when he is on the mound. In his last appearance, he made a name for himself when he retired the side in order while throwing an array of off-speed and fastballs. When you’re trying to get hitters out, don’t be surprised when hitters try to… get a hit. Point to the game-changers.

Rookie mistake?

Third, Yermin Mercedes is a rookie. He has a rookie contract which means that every hit and home run is valuable to him since he can lobby those stats for more money. If this was a veteran then maybe I understand but he’s not taking anything for granted. I mean the Yerminator hasn’t even spent 2 months in the majors yet, why would anyone tell him to relax. Point to the game-changers.

Lastly, we have to truly measure if this was fun. Astudillo had fun last time on the mound when he retired the side in order in Anaheim. It was also fun to watch as well. Yermin Mercedes has been fun to watch all year because he’s playing with that new-comer swagger more and more kids are adopting. When you put these two together, then it’s a hilarious matchup that everyone wants to see. It was fun to watch so game-changers get another point.

Hitters gonna hit

The only reason why I’ll take off have a point is because it was a 3-0 count in a 15-4 game. Maybe take a pitch and get the walk or swing away on 3-1? I understand that logic as well. I’m not too passionate about arguing one side being 100% right. Both have their merits bit I will say that I favor the hitter’s side in this situation. Final score: Traditionalists 1 – Game Changers 2.

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