Over the last week, I’ve heard at least four pundits state the case that Ryan Dempster is pitching much better at home this season than on the road. Huh? There are people still out there who base a pitcher’s performance off record? And they are given a microphone? Dempster is 8-0 at home and 0-2 on the road in 2008, but he sports a lower ERA (.248 to 2.92), lower WHIP (1.05 to 1.11) and better K:BB ratio (2.4:1 to 2.1:1) when away from home.
J.P. Riccardi’s recent bashing of Adam Dunn was wrong, but his reasoning was much worse. He came off like Joe sports fan stating Dunn is passionless and a “.230 to .240 hitter that strikes out a ton.” It’s almost as if a general manager of a major league baseball team doesn’t understand that on-base and slugging percentage are the two most important metrics when evaluating a player.
Sticking with the media theme, I heard the Reds’ radio announcers recently say they thought Edinson Volquez had pitched well enough to make the All-Star team this season, and “they should find some place for him in the bullpen.” This is the opposite of homersim. As of now, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be the starter. The guy’s ERA is 1.64! The funny thing is his BABIP (.281) isn’t all that fluky. However, his strand rate (.87) is, and although he’s drastically improved his G/F rate (1.38), he’s going to start giving up more homers. Still, his 10.74 K/9 IP mark easily leads all of baseball, so Volquez has been about as dominant as any starter in the league this year.
Last media rant (I promise). You cannot, ever, under any circumstances, “reaggravate” an injury. It’s impossible, since it’s not a word and all.
What in the world has gotten into Jason Giambi? He’s batting .322 since April ended, and he’s already up to 17 homers and 40 RBI with more walks than strikeouts on the year. Giambi’s .979 OPS is fourth best in the American League. Ironically, he’s largely doing so by crushing southpaws (.288/.468/.678). What a surprising resurgence by the 37-year-old.
Russell Branyan isn’t going to continue hitting a homer every 6.2 at-bats, but it’s entirely possible he’s a legit power source over the course of the season. He strikes out far too often to not be a batting average drain, but this is someone who has homered once every 14.7 at-bats versus right-handers during his career, so he’s not unfamiliar with the long ball. Since Branyan’s been recalled, no one in all of baseball has a higher slugging percentage. I would say to shop him around, but I doubt you’d find many eager takers. Just sit back and use him if you need power in a deep or NL-only league.
Is there anyone more worthless than Wily Mo Pena?
Don’t look now, but there’s been a Rocco Baldelli sighting. My favorite whipping boy has two homers with three walks and no Ks during his first two games of action, and it’s looking like there’s a real possibility he contributes this season. Of course, he’ll need to avoid further injury for it to happen, which is a long shot.
"I told him next time he does that I'm going to get my blade out and cut him. I'm a gangster. You go gangster on me, I'm going to have to get you. You do that again, I'm going to cut you right on the field." - Jerry Manuel…I’m speechless.
How weird is it that the correct term is trade “chits,” not chips? Can someone help me out here?
A.J. Burnett is costing himself millions with his recent implosions. Usually, he’s either effective or hurt, but he’s been healthy (at least ostensibly) and currently sports a 5.42 ERA this season. Since Burnett’s pitching in hopes of getting a big contract at year’s end, it’s possible he’s doing so through some sort injury. Either way, his control has been horrible (4.5 BB/9 IP).
Congratulations to the Celtics, who flat-out whipped an inferior Lakers squad. That series was closer to being a sweep than it was Los Angeles winning. Phil Jackson was asleep at the wheel, Paul Pierce was simply fantastic, especially defensively, and I’m not entirely sure Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol realize the series has started (and ended). If one watched only the postseason, they’d come away thinking LeBron James is clearly better than Kobe Bryant.