Thursday, May 23, 2013

Burch Smith is a Disaster

San Diego Padres rookie starting pitcher Burch Smith has been a disaster through his first 3 career starts.  He's only pitched 7.1 innings total (Cliff Lee pitched more than that in just 1 start last night).  His ERA is 18.71 and pairs with an equally ugly 3.00 WHIP.  Opponents are batting a lofty .432 off the 23 year old righty.  Of course, this isn't entirely his fault.  Burch hasn't pitched above Double-A and only made 6 starts there earlier this season.  He's in a bit over his head and by a "a bit" I mean the friggin' ocean is swallowing him up.  The Friars did demote him following yesterday's crapfest, but the harm might already be done to the young man's  psyche.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

King of the Hill - Patrick Corbin

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in 1st place in the NL West. One of the major contributors this season has been 23 year old starting left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin. In all 9 of his starts, he's gone at least 6 innings and has not allowed more than 2 runs in any of them. That's 9 straight quality starts to begin the season. Stats: 7-0, 9 GS, 62.1 IP, 51 K, 1.44 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and a 2.5 WAR.

The early NL Cy Young race is between Corbin, Clayton Kershaw/Dodgers (5-2, 10 GS, 73.1 IP, 72 K, 1.35 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and a 3.5 WAR), and Matt Harvey/Mets (5-0, 9 GS, 63.2 IP, 68 K, 1.55 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and a 3.1 WAR).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Breakout Performances of 2013 MLB Season

Over half way through May and a quarter of the way through the 2013 MLB season, I thought it was time to checkout the breakout performances thus far.  Below is a list of players that aren't stars yet, but are on now on their way.

Offense:
Jean Segura/SS of the Milwaukee Brewers leads the NL in batting average .365 and has a .992 OPS.

James Loney/1B is making the Tampa Bay Rays look smart for picking him up on the cheap this offseason, batting .354/.925.

People expected Manny Machado/3B of the Baltimore Orioles to be good, but not this good at such a young age (.332/.899).

Josh Donaldson/3B of the Oakland Athletics is playing great defense and smacking the ball around the park (.323/.938).

Chris Davis/1B/OF of the Baltimore Orioles is killing it, and by it, I mean the baseball.  Batting .317/1.079 with 12 HR and 40 RBI.

Starling Marte/LF is making fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates take notice to his great power/speed combo. If it continues, he'll become a household name like his outfield buddy Andrew McCutchen.

Speaking of power/speed combinations, Shin-Soo Choo is putting it altogether this year, batting .311/1.009 with 35 R, 9 HR, and 5 SB.

Speed is the weapon of choice when it comes to the San Diego Padres Everth Cabrera, who leads all of baseball with 15 stolen bases.

Pitching:
Edward Mujica is now the St. Louis Cardinals closer and doing a fantastic job (12 SV, 1.50 ERA, 0.56 WHIP).  Just in time for free agency this upcoming offseason.

Another newly crowned closer is doing a good job in the form of the Milwaukee Brewers Jim Henderson.

Fireballer Matt Harvey of the New York Mets is the front-runner for the NL Cy Young (5-0, 1.55 ERA, 0.72 WHIP).

Hisashi Iwakuma was good as a rookie last season with the Seattle Mariners, but now he's fantastic in his second season (5-1, 1.84 ERA, 0.78 WHIP).

The Chicago Cubs are going remain a losing ball club, at least through this season, but Travis Wood is pitching great for them (4-2, 1.93 ERA, 0.93 WHIP).

The St. Louis Cardinals are sitting pretty in the NL Central due partly to the efforts of rookie Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.40 ERA, 0.88 WHIP).

Cleveland Indians fans are starting to believe their team might be playoff bound this season and Zach McAllister is responsible for some of that (2.65 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 8 starts).

Another starting pitcher that is part of surprise teams early season success if the Pittsburgh Pirates Jeff Locke (2.79 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 9 starts).

A pair of Texas Rangers relievers have the lowest ERA of pitchers with a minimum of 18 innings pitched (Tanner Scheppers- 0.42 ERA/21.2 IP and Robbie Ross- 0.48 ERA/18.2 IP).

Closer of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jason Grilli, is quickly becoming one of the game's best (16 SV, 14.46 K/9,  0.96 ERA, 0.70 WHIP).

*All stats through games played Saturday May 18th.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hisashi Iwakuma- Elite Starting Pitcher

One of baseball's best kept secrets is Hisashi Iwakuma.  If he was on the Yankees, Red Sox, or Phillies we'd hear a lot more about his dominance.  Instead, he's stuck in Seattle, where the weather is dreary and the team is mediocre.

Since coming over from Japan in 2012, Iwakuma has pitched brilliantly, especially in the role of starting pitcher.  The 32 year old righty has made 25 starts over the past 2 seasons with the Mariners and owns a 13-5 record covering 153.2 IP with a 2.34 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.  Those are the type of stats that will put him in elite status should he continue churning out this high level of quality.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Baseball Ballet Sketch


Above is artist Richard Rawls' rendition of one of the photographs of ballerinas playing baseball I posted on here awhile back.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Zero ERA Club- 2013

We're a little over a month into the 2013 MLB season and some relief pitchers are still sporting a 0.00 earned run average.

Club Zero:
Name/Team - IP
Minimum - 8 IP

Matt Reynolds/ARI - 15
James Russell/CHC - 11.1
Bruce Chen/KCR - 9.2
Joe Smith/CLE - 8.2
Jean Machi/SFG - 8.1

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Jordany Valdespin: Pinch-Hitting Extraordinaire

The New York Mets have a weapon, and that weapon's name is Jordany Valdespin.  The 25 year old made his MLB debut last season and has been belting clutch homeruns ever since.  In his brief career (117 games), he's blasted 6 pinch-hit homeruns in 58 plate appearances.  That's 1 pinch-hit homerun for every 10 pinch-hitting opportunities.  His pinch-hitting OPS is .842 and he's collected 14 RBI in that situation.  Too bad he's not as amazing when starting a game.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

What in the name of Bob Boone is going on?

What the hell happened to Brett Boone? Looks like he got a Hollywood makeover, the complete douchebag package.

MLB Final Standings Prediction (After 1 Month)

AL East:
1. Boston Red Sox - (97-65)
2. Baltimore Orioles - (91-71)
3. New York Yankees - (88-74)
4. Tampa Bay Rays - (83-79)
5. Toronto Blue Jays - (77-85)

AL Central:
1. Detroit Tigers - (94-68)
2. Kansas City Royals - (89-73)
3. Cleveland Indians - (80-82)
4. Minnesota Twins - (74-88)
5. Chicago White Sox - (73-89)

AL West:
1. Texas Rangers - (91-71)
2. Oakland Athletics - (88-74)
3. Los Angeles Angels - (81-81)
4. Seattle Mariners - (75-87)
5. Houston Astros - (50-112)

NL East:
1. Atlanta Braves - (100-62)
2. Washington Nationals - (91-71)
3. Philadelphia Phillies - (75-87)
4. New York Mets - (73-89)
5. Miami Marlins - (47-115)

NL Central:
1. Cincinnatti Reds - (93-69)
2. St. Louis Cardinals - (89-73)
3. Milwaukee Brewers - (84-78)
4. Pittsburgh Pirates - (82-80)
5. Chicago Cubs - (64-98)

NL West:
1. San Francisco Giants - (92-70)
2. Arizona Diamondbacks - (88-74)
3. Los Angeles Dodgers - (87-75)
4. Colorado Rockies - (83-79)
5. San Diego Padres - (74-88)

AL Playoffs Round 1:
Royals over Baltimore 

AL Playoffs Round 2:
Red Sox over Royals
Tigers over Rangers

AL Playoffs Round 3:
Tigers over Red Sox

NL Playoffs Round 1:
Nationals over Cardinals

NL Playoffs Round 2:
Braves over Nationals
Reds over Giants

NL Playoffs Round 3:
Reds over Braves

World Series:
Reds over Tigers