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MLB Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/24/2008 5:21:00 PM
View more posts by this author


Itís too late in most leagues, but Felipe Lopez needs to be picked up. Thursday marked the seventh straight start for him, so heís now entrenched in the lineup. Heís not going to help your batting average, but thereís some solid stolen base and power potential from the middle infielder. RFK really limited Lopez over the past two years, so thereís some upside here.

Pitching with a damaged shoulder and soon to turn 41 years old, John Smoltz has been as good as ever this season. A 31:6 K:BB ratio over 23 innings with no homers allowed is about as dominant as it gets. A favorable schedule has helped, and heís going to remain an injury risk, but fantasy owners might as well hold onto Smoltz and enjoy the ride.

David Ortiz is having an awful year, but he is on pace to still finish with 135 RBI.

In this installment of the clueless Joe Torre, did he really have Andruw Jones batting second and Nomar Garciaparra hitting cleanup Wednesday? I really think Major League Baseball managers might collectively be the dumbest profession in the United States. Want another example? Charlie Manuel decided to bring Cole Hamels out for the eighth inning Wednesday even though he had already thrown 118 pitches. Iím also not too big on Lou Piniellaís decision to skip Rich Hillís turn in the rotation for inferior options like Jason Marquis and Ryan Dempster.

How is Barry Bonds unemployed right now? This is a national crisis and an outrage that deserves an inquest.

Itís pretty obvious Jeremy Bonderman is pitching with an injury. I was down on him entering the year, and heís been even worse than I feared. Issuing 21 walks through 27.1 innings is staggering. Expect a DL-stint to arrive shortly.

Lance Berman is unconscious right now, batting .325 with six long balls and four steals. Heís also drawn seven walks to just one strikeout over the last seven games. Heís not going to suddenly steal 30 bases, but the Astros are running wild this year, so a career-high in the category should be expected. With an improved lineup also around him, Berkman is in line to obliterate last yearís numbers.

Jimmy Fallon to replace Conan OíBrien once he takes over for Jay Leno? Get ready for Chevy Chase, Part 2.

The Vikings and Chiefs trade looks win-win to me. Minnesotaís defense is going to be a force adding the leagueís best pass rusher in his prime next to the NFLís best interior. That team is a quarterback away from winning the NFC. Of course, quarterback is the most important position in football. I also applaud Dallasí decision to go after Pacman Jones. Sure, thereís plenty of risk involved, but any time you can get a top-5 defensive player for a fourth rounder, you do so. When on the field, Jones is more valuable than any player in this yearís NFL Draft.

Iím beginning to think Francisco Liriano isnít 100 percent recovered from his Tommy John surgery.

I would say that Brett Favre becoming the next cover boy of ďMaddenĒ would solve the jinx problem, but thereís always the chance he comes back. Still, itís pretty fitting.

Iím not saying I predicted Manny Corpas losing the closerís job mid-April, but last yearís 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings didnít exactly scream dominant stopper. The .260 BABIP and .85 strand rate did, however, suggest he was lucky. Heíll turn it around, but this is another example of how fluid closing situations become because of small sample sizes.

Look Look. Thereís a picture of Chris Liss and me on How exciting!

Morgues should be preparing for Gary Sheffieldís arrival, because he looks just about done. At age 39, his body is simply failing him. That said, American League pitchers beware, the rest of this Tigers lineup has officially awoken.

Might as well take a flier on Eric Hinske. His .327/.403/.727 line canít be taken too seriously, but remember, the former ROY was a pretty good prospect back in the day. And after what Carlos Pena did last year in a similar situation in Tampa Bay, Hinske canít be completely ignored. He might be a pretty good asset against right-handers this year.


Which one of you in the pic is wearing the glasses? I wouldn't know who you two were except Liss's constant pic on his emails w/Erickson, BTB article during football season, does anyone else have their pic up on this site more? Given their numbers so far this season, how couldn't Piniella skip Hill for Marquis and Dempster? I think I made a cheesy comment about Ortiz about to go Jackie Chan in your last blog and he has-3 HRs and 16 RBIs in his last 7 games.
Posted by kevinccp at 4/24/2008 5:42:00 PM
Liss is on the far right in that pic, and I'm sitting right next to him...Hill has been bad this year, no doubt, but that's through four starts. Based on career stats and track record, he's easily a better pitcher than Marquis and Dempster, and he has the most potential moving forward too. So for the better of the franchise, I don't see how giving him nine days in between starts helps...I do remember your Ortiz comment, and it's looking better and better each day.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/24/2008 5:55:00 PM
I knew who you two were, you're much taller than I expected. Based on your pic you used to post in your articles that I compared to Hannibal Lecter, I pictured an older Chunk from goonies at 5'6", 260lbs. who played video games all day. I know you'd rather have (in fantasy or real life) Hill, BUT right now he's the worst of the 3 pitchers until he gets things turned around, which I believe will happen. Remember when quoting "career stats and track record", Hill hasn't been around forever. A comment like that would be better argued about someone like Sabathia.
Posted by kevinccp at 4/24/2008 6:20:00 PM
I think it's a disgrace what Piniella is doing to Hill. He was really good last year and doesn't deserve to be jerked around like this.

Liriano needs 2 months off.

Would Bonds be unemployed if he was white? Probably, but it's worth asking anyway.
Posted by MPStopa at 4/24/2008 6:28:00 PM
Lou is skipping Hill against the Brewers next week because Milwaukee is 6-1 against lefty starters and has an enormous hitting split favoring that side. The Brewers led the league in OPS against lefties last year with a .860 mark and are second with a .888 OPS this year. If there ever was a time to skip him in the rotation, it's next week.
Posted by herbilk at 4/24/2008 6:39:00 PM
I'm with Herb. Relax yourselves. A "disgrace"? Guys get skipped all the time. It's a *good* move, a no-brainer in fact. And asserting that race might have something to do with Bonds being unemployed is beyond ridiculous.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 4/24/2008 7:17:00 PM
I was aware of the Brewers have been hitting lefties well reasoning, and it does make it less bad in my mind, but I still don't like the idea in general. He'll probably be rusty in his first start back, and therefore, Piniella will be even more justified that he did it in the first place. Still, it's not a huge deal.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/24/2008 8:22:00 PM
I'm sorry, but if Piniella is skipping Hill because the Brewers have a good OPS against lefties then that is over-managing. Hill is their second best starter. You don't sit your second best starter simply because the other team has a good offense.
Posted by MPStopa at 4/25/2008 8:53:00 AM
asserting that race has something to do with the bonds situation is only ridiculous because it is so obvious.

saying that now is a good time to skip rich hill assumes that it is necessary to skip him at all. if you have a talented pitcher -- who has shown he can be successful -- who is struggling, how is sending him out to the 'pen and giving him 9 days between starts help? i just hope this doesn't mess with him for the rest of the year; i drank the rotowire kool-aid on him.
Posted by claskowski at 4/25/2008 10:11:00 AM
It's criminal that the Twins are letting Liriano re-train his arm in the majors - totally stupid and a very dangerous thing to do with a $100 million asset... In 10 years, Jerry Jones will be Al Davis. And you should have found a way to work the word "corpse" into your entry about the Rockies changing closers... Best use of the word corpse in a movie was in "The Last Boy Scout" after Bruce Willis kills one of his thug captors with a nose-through-the-brain punch. A few minutes later, the head thug says annoyed and in an effeminate voice: "Can somebody please get Joseph's corpse out of here!" It's worth renting that admittedly terrible movie just for that scene - and also the one where the running back who's on PCP pulls out a gun and starts shooting would-be tacklers... I think Piniella's handled the Cubs masterfully so far - letting Lieber pitch in the pen, getting something out of Marquis early and being able to move Lieber in if and when Marquis falls apart, letting Dempster get comfortable as a starter, but having Sean Marshall around if the same thing happens to him. It wouldn't work as well the other way around. Also, making Wood the closer, and having Marmol do the heavy setup lifting. And giving Pie more chances despite Reed Johnson's hot start, knowing that they need Pie's defense for the postseason. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on Hill here - and Hill seems to be taking it in stride.
Posted by cliss at 4/25/2008 12:19:00 PM
Barry Bonds is unemployed because he is a tool and a ***. So he hits a few HR's, but he is a lousy teammate and no one ever one anything with him. I'm sure the Giants are happy as hell that he is gone. Good riddance!!!
Posted by mr crunch at 4/25/2008 12:40:00 PM
Oh yes, I remember that nose-through-brain punch in The Last Boy Scout. Classic film...Mr Crunch - I was waiting for a response like that. Hitting a few HRs is a bit of an understatement, considering he led the league in OPS last year and all. I'm sure the Giants will be thrilled with their last place finish.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/25/2008 2:54:00 PM

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