Anyone surprised by Jeremy Bondermanís season-ending surgery hasnít been paying attention to him over the past year. Something had clearly not been right with him for a while now. A loss in velocity is a sign of injury, but so is lack of command, which Bonderman struggled with mightily this season.
J.R. Towles is one of the bigger 2008 disappointments. With a .145/.270./.282 line, his demotion to the minors was well warranted. Over 157 at-bats, 31 percent of his career RBI total came in one game.
I was critical of the Aaron Rowand signing at the time and targeted him as a potential fantasy bust, but so far, Iíve been wrong. His defense has slipped some, but heís still one of the best center fielders in the game. His current .912 OPS is actually more than 20 points better than last year, and heís downgraded home ballparks drastically. In fact, Rowandís .393 batting average on the road leads major league baseball. Of course, an injury is probably right around the corner, and heís already on the wrong side of 30, but heís certainly not let the big contract slow him down.
What has happened to Rafael Betancourt? His numbers were bound to regress after last seasonís remarkable campaign, but a current 7.0 ERA and 1.67 WHIP is a bit extreme. Digging deeper, his 3.1:1 K:BB ratio and 28 Ks over 27 innings suggest heís not pitching nearly as poorly as the numbers indicate. Heís already given up six homers and walked as many batters this year as he did all last season, so itís not all bad luck, but his .384 BABIP and .615 strand rate will regress to the mean. Heíll improve, but itís too bad he couldnít take advantage of Joe Borowskiís absence.
Mark Ellis doesnít deserve a .234 average with a 24:27 K:BB ratio. Speaking of ridiculous plate discipline, Joe Mauer is flashing an awesome 15:30 K:BB ratio, so another run at the AL batting crown looks to be in store.
Gavin Floyd is an interesting case study. A former top prospect, his hot start to the season could easily be brushed off as a fluke, as his .211 BABIP, low K rate and 1.61:1 K:BB ratio were far from commensurate to his sparkling ERA and WHIP. But then over his last three starts, heís started pitching much better, recording a 20:1 K:BB rate over 20 innings. Did the luck breed confidence that led to improved pitching ability? I donít have the answers, but I remain skeptical.
The baseball season just hasnít started until Rickie Weeks suffers an injury.
If the Lakers would have won Sunday, that would have been the best comeback Iíve ever witnessed. NBA teams are 3-29 after starting 0-2 in the Finals, but I still see the Lakers winning this series. And the switch to the 2-3-2 format is unconscionable, especially since the travel excuse is such a blatant lie (there were two days off between Games 1 & 2, one day off between Games 2 & 3).
Garrett Atkins has been hitting lefties at a .514/.537/.865 clip this season. Thatís a 1.401 OPS if youíre counting at home. Last year, his OPS was 100 points lower (.782) versus southpaws than it was against right-handers. Yes, baseball isnít all that easy to predict.
After giving up four runs on a whopping 10 hits in Petco Park against possibly the worst offense in baseball Sunday, Pedro Martinez may seem done. However, he had solid velocity, and all 10 hits were singles, so there were some encouraging signs to take out of it. I still think heíll be an asset in even shallow leagues this year in between injuries.
Bad news regarding Shaun Livingston, who is looking more and more unlikely to ever play NBA basketball again.
Any talk of the Yankees rebuilding is beyond laughable. The Rays and Aís are the only two teams in front of them in the wild card standings, so naturally, they should blow it up and start from scratch. Especially with their payroll. And lineup. Speaking of which, Johnny Damon is having one of the better bounce back seasons no one is talking about. His current .900 OPS is easily a career-high. Also, the window to buy Joba Chamberlain may soon be closing.
Since Aaron Harang pitched four innings of relief on May 25, heís allowed 16 runs over 15.1 innings. Thatís still come with a nice 10:1 K:BB ratio, and heís certainly pitched better than his 2-9 record suggests, but Harangís also given up more hits (105) than any pitcher in the National League.
Nothing will ever consume me more than the Scott Peterson trial, since he lived about 15 minutes from where I do right now and was both guilty as sin yet convicted on circumstantial evidence. And with news of a new civil trial Ė with the prosecutor being my dadís lawyer (donít ask), letís just say Iíll be following this one as well.
The Metsí handling of Ryan Church is reprehensible. On May 29, I wrote ďIím more Dr. Van Nostrand than I am James Andrews, but Ryan Churchís prognosis doesnít sound too good to me.Ē This statement was based purely on quotes from Church. Yet somehow, the Mets decided it would be a good idea to put him out in the field two days later. After suffering two concussions in such a short time span, it was obvious from the beginning he should have immediately landed on the DL. Now, they are more worried about his life in the long-term than baseball. Even Dr. Van Nostrand couldnít have botched this worse.
I defy you to come up with a player more jacked than Brian Wilson. Heís absolutely swoll.