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MLB Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/10/2008 2:58:00 PM
View more posts by this author

 

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about Edwin Encarnacion’s dreadfully slow start. Not only did he enter Thursday with an .083 average, but he’s also committed three errors already. He hit .221 with no homers last April, so slow starts are nothing new to him. Still, a day off Wednesday and extra work in the cage may have done Encarnacion some good, as he clubbed his second homer of the season Thursday. Looking deeper, there are some other encouraging signs; he’s already walked more than a quarter (10) of his total last season (39) in 475 fewer at-bats, so his pitch recognition is really improving. Of course, Dusty Baker probably views this as a negative.

Staying with the Reds, forward thinking owners might want to stash Homer Bailey now, even in shallower leagues. He’s shown a big improvement in the command department during his last two starts in Triple-A and still possesses major strikeout potential. On a team that’s employing Josh Fogg in the starting rotation, there really should be no hesitation to make the switch if Bailey’s control continues to progress.

When I’m driving and go out of my way to let you in my lane, a courtesy wave of acknowledgement really is required. I mean, is that too much to ask?

Don’t look now, but ESPN poster boy Bobby Crosby is off to a fast start. He’s still an obvious injury concern and not displaying the kind of power most thought would develop, but after striking out once every 4.7 at-bats during his career entering 2008, he’s fanned just once during 36 ABs this year. No one should count on him staying healthy, but there is some upside here.

Brett Favre hasn’t been retired for more than a month, and we are already subjected to will he come back rumors? This feels like an SNL skit or something.

I’m not sure what to make of Zack Greinke. He’s got upside, but he probably isn’t quite as good as his second half last year (2.42 ERA, 1.17 WHIP). But with his mind finally right, there was potential entering 2008, and after allowing just one run against terrific Tiger and Yankee offenses, optimism is abound. However, that accompanying 5:4 K:BB ratio suggests he’s been mighty lucky.

Adam LaRoche got on the board with his first homer of the year Wednesday, but his history in April is remarkable. Throughout his career, he’s now hit .174/.271/.341 during the first month of the season. That comes with a staggering 96 strikeouts over 299 at-bats.

Chuck James is getting overlooked right now. Sure, he’s pitching with a damaged shoulder, but that’s also true with many pitchers, and he feels much better after an offseason of rest. He posted a legit 2.75:1 K:BB ratio over the second half last season with a 1.21 WHIP. He gives up too many flyballs, but his changeup is nasty, and the shelling during his season debut Wednesday came in Coors Field and with another stellar K:BB rate. Let him get the cobwebs out after a truncated spring, but James shouldn’t be unowned in any deep league right now.

I’ve never been more excited about someone who was born in the 1990s, but Angel Villalona is Babe Ruth and Jesus Christ wrapped into one.

Whether or not Austin Kearns’ power will ever return is up in the air, but his component numbers are very encouraging early on. Dating back to last season, his strikeout and walk rates are both moving sharply in the right direction. He’s going to have quite a bit of RBI opportunities if Nick Johnson somehow stays healthy this season.

If Ned Yost removes Manny Parra from the rotation instead of David Bush once Yovani Gallardo returns, then he’s even more inept than I gave him credit for. He should be fired on the spot if this takes place.

Top-5 Rap Songs:

1. “Ambition Az A Ridah” (2Pac)
2. “Juicy” (Biggie)
3. “It Was A Good Day” (Ice Cube)
4. “Triumph” (Wu Tang Clan)
5. “Adrenaline” (The Roots)

One of the worst trades in recent memory that doesn’t get a lot of play involved Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka for Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young. Of course, the ballparks do skew some of the pitching stats, but imagine what Gonzalez would do out of Petco.

Francisco Liriano seems to be dealing with some psychosomatic problems. The team says he’s perfectly healthy, but he’s afraid to go all out with his fastball and is throwing far too many sliders. This is hardly rare for someone coming back from TJ surgery, but for the good of baseball, hopefully Liriano’s velocity eventually comes all the way back.

The Giants are looking for a left-handed hitting first baseman and are active in trade discussions, but club officials said they have no interest in Dan Johnson, whom the A's designated for assignment. Of course they don’t! Why would a rebuilding team want to take a cheap flier on a 28-year-old with a career .298/.388/.517 line in the minors and a 1.07:1 K:BB ratio in the majors when they have Rich Aurilia? Also, Johnson’s disappointing last couple of years can at least partially be blamed on injuries. Brian Sabean’s legacy as GM is turning into an even bigger train wreck than this.


Comments....

Shouldn't NWA be in the top 5 somewhere for something (Straight Outta Compton?). I'd be concerned right now if I owned Raphael Soriano, elbow problems aren't good for pitchers. I've never gotten hitters who can't hit in the first half, but light it up in the second.
Posted by kevinccp at 4/10/2008 3:27:00 PM
 
Ya that's not a bad call Kevin...I'm very concerned about R. Soriano. It seems his arm is perpetually hanging on by a thread, so he's especially worrisome.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/10/2008 3:42:00 PM
 
I watched Greinke's start against the Yankees at KC, and I'm a believer. He seems especially adept at throwing what the hitter isn't expecting. Thats my first take, he certainly had the Yankees off balance the entire evening. That can't be questioned. Rate the rap songs however you'd like. They all sound the same, and they don't make it to the level of my taste.
Posted by thepearl-673 at 4/10/2008 8:33:00 PM
 
Oh yes, it was cold at Kauffman, but that new video board is amazing.
Posted by thepearl-673 at 4/10/2008 8:36:00 PM
 
Thanks for that Teri Hatcher clip. Who told her she could sing? Since you listed music in your blog I will give you 5 songs from celebrities that, unlike Teri and countless others, did not embarrass themselves:

1. Patrick Swayze....She's Like the Wind
2. David Soul (Starsky & Hutch)...Don't Give Up On Us
3. Shelly Fabrais...Johnny Angel
4. Vicki Lawrence...The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
5. Suzi Quatro (Pinky Tuskadero on Happy Days)...Stumblin' In
Posted by skinsnut at 4/10/2008 9:02:00 PM
 
Good stuff. Get well soon Swayze!
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/10/2008 10:12:00 PM
 
No 2 Live Crew (I'm the Peter Piper of the 1980s...)? Surely that's top-three.
Posted by cliss at 4/11/2008 2:13:00 PM
 
Best BIG record: "Hypnotize"

skinsnut - no mention of Don Johnson's "Heartbeat"?
No need to list Starsky & Hutch next to David Soul. Doesn't everyone know who David Soul is?

Chuck James - torn rotator cuff, low strikeout rate, bad first start, too many flyballs, lucky on balls in play the last couple years. What IS to like there? Never been a fan.

I must point out that Bobby Crosby is on my RW staff league squad and he is available in trade talks.
Posted by vtadave at 4/11/2008 2:21:00 PM
 
"Heartbeat" was the best of the bad, but still bad IMO.
Posted by skinsnut at 4/11/2008 7:12:00 PM
 
Heard Jay-Z's "big pimpin'" tonight. Always puts a smile on my face. And if you west coast guys don't know what Cinncinati chili is, your missing some sweet grub.
Posted by kevinccp at 4/11/2008 10:10:00 PM
 
dave, i'd offer a bag of chips for crosby, but the President of Lays would probably write in that the trade should be vetoed.
Posted by MPStopa at 4/12/2008 7:01:00 PM
 
How about a can of Pringles and I'll toss back a non-Pabst six-pack to be named later?
Posted by vtadave at 4/12/2008 9:52:00 PM
 

As a Twins fan, I am a big Brian Sabean guy! Two fifths of our rotation and a lights out closer for a cranky catcher that you dump because he couldn't get along with Bret Tomko. If the Mets deal ends up half as good.......
Posted by onlies at 4/14/2008 6:58:00 AM
 

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